The first one-way trip to Mars for innovation demonstrated the possibility of a NASA drone-helicopter controlled spacecraft on a planet other than Earth. On its fifth flight, for the first time the vehicle did not return to its starting position, but landed elsewhere, the diligent rover moving in the same direction so that it could reach and follow the next test.
In the new flight, which lasted 108 seconds, the ingenuity reached a height of 10 meters, thus breaking its previous record.
The helicopter drone flew 129 meters, headed south and left the old airport dedicated to the Wright brothers. Once he reached the height of ten meters to take new pictures of the Martian soil where he had reached.
The new location also marks the beginning of a new phase of testing, during which the ingenuity will be able to make exploration flights of new parts of the planet, proving that rovers can capture aerial observations and stereo images of inaccessible locations. From a great height.
Now the drone is diligently recharging its batteries, which are waiting for new instructions from the diligence rover to receive them from NASA’s Mission Control Center at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JBL) in Pasadena, California.
Ingenuity is planned to fly so as not to interfere with the scientific program of perseverance anymore. “Two more flights are scheduled in the coming weeks, and then we will consider how to proceed,” said Bob Balaram, JBL’s ingenious chief task engineer. “We have already collected all the aviation performance data we wanted to collect. The new phase that opens now – he added – provides an opportunity to further expand our knowledge,” he said.
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