NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter performs its 3rd flight on Mars on 25th April, sets it up for its ultimate, and most difficult, examinations.
Details of Ingenuity flight are as follows:
- Take off from the Martian surface at 4:31 a.m. Eastern
- The altitude of five meters
- Flight 50 meters downrange and back prior to touching down 80 seconds after take-off
- The helicopter reaches a top speed of two meters per second during the flight
The above details are according to statistics that arrive on Earth around six hours post the flight.
Similar to the previous flights on 19th and 22nd April, went as per plan as supervisors expand Ingenuity’s flight cover. On its first flight, the helicopter goes up three meters and back down, while on the second it went to an altitude of five meters. After which it travels two meters sideways and prior to before landing.
Dave Lavery is the program director for the mission at NASA Headquarters. She says, “Today’s flight performs exactly as per schedule, and yet it is nothing but incredible. With this flight, we are displaying crucial abilities that will facilitate the addition of an aerial element to upcoming Mars operations.”
One essential feature of the newest flight was to examination the helicopter’s map-reading system, which depends on a camera. It appears down to track surface characteristics. That system examines on the ground, however, in a vacuum chamber. This is where the helicopter could relocate only about half a meter. “This is the first time we witness the procedure for the camera moving over a long gap.” Says MiMi Aung who is the project manager for Ingenuity at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The first three flights follow a manual that project engineers create for Ingenuity prior to the arrival on Mars. The project has a little extra than a week left. This is for its test campaign for up to two other test flights. NASA has not yet disclosed details for the same. In the JPL statement about the third flight, the center says that the fourth flight might fly “in a couple of days.”
Thomas Zurbuchen is an associate administrator for science at NASA. He says, “We really intend to be sure. When all is said and done, we know the full extent of what’s feasible with that kind of flying machine. For us, that is very crucial.”