Ingenuity helicopter was only meant to fly five times, however, NASA’s helicopter on Mars completes 12 flights and it is not ready to withdraw. Given its spectacular and surprising accomplishment, the US space agency extends Ingenuity’s mission forever.
The minuscule helicopter has to turn out to be the regular journey companion of the rover Perseverance. This is whose core purpose is to try to find indications of ancient life on Mars. “Everything is working so well,” says Josh Ravich, the head of Ingenuity’s mechanical engineering squad. “We are doing well on the surface than expectation.”
Hundreds of individuals gave to the project, although only around a dozen presently maintain day-to-day roles.
On April 19, Ingenuity brought out its maiden flight, creating history as the first electrically powered craft to fly on an alternative planet.
Exceeding all beliefs, it has gone on to fly 11 more times.
“We have essentially been able to cope with winds larger than we had likely,” says Ravich.
“I think by the 3rd flight we had essentially achieved all of our engineering goals. And we also got all the data we had wished to get,” says Ravich. He works for NASA’s famed Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which built the helicopter.
Ever since then, Ingenuity has –
- Flown as high as 39 feet (12 meters),
- Its last flight lasted 2 minutes and 49 seconds.
- In all, it has covered a distance of 1.6 miles.
In May, Ingenuity flies its first one-way operation, arriving outside the fairly flat “airfield”. Selection of which is thorough at its original home.
However, not all has gone smoothly. Its sixth flight gave some thrill.
It was hit severely off-balance by a failure affecting the photos taken in flight. This is in order to help it stabilize, the tiny craft was able to recover. It landed, safe and sound, and the trouble was solved. Ingenuity is now being sent out to hunt the way for Perseverance, utilizing its high-resolution color camera.
The objective is twofold:
- To chart a path for the rover that is safe,
- Also, which is of scientific interest, particularly in geological terms.