Ingenuity marks another successful flight on Mars! The new milestone has been reached on Thursday (April 22) morning, and NASA revealed all the details.
Just days after its first success, the Mars helicopter completed another flight, this time putting on display its sideways movement. Now, Ingenuity is gearing up for the other three flights that will push it to the limit.
Here is what you need to know.
Moving Sideways Was a Real Success
The Ingenuity helicopter completed its first sideways movement on April 22, after its first aerial debut at the beginning of the week.
The helicopter’s rotor blades started to spin fiercely, lifting approximately 5 meters (16 feet) off the ground. According to NASA, Ingenuity’s rotors reached a speed 5 times faster than an Earth helicopter.
You can watch below the official footage:
The data collected was sent back to NASA, and it “looks good on altitude, lateral motion, all the turns and landing,” as per Bobby Braun’s (the director of planetary science at NASA’s JPL) statement.
Three More Flight Are Scheduled
Ingenuity’s mission on Mars is still not over. The helicopter is getting ready now for its third flight, then another 2 will follow.
The Mars helicopter’s flights aim to help the potential of future space helicopters so that we would be able to explore more areas of the Martian grounds and other planets that are inaccessible to rovers.
MiMi Aung, the project manager for Ingenuity, explains:
“We really want to push the rotorcraft flights to the limit and really learn and get information back from that.”
The next flight will probably take place within a few days. By the last aerial escapade, the Ingenuity’s team hopes to push the helicopter as fast and far as it will go.Â
That means we might see Ingenuity crash, but all will be well as long as we receive the necessary data.