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NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter in Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter in Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter as completed its third flight in Mars and has set new records during the third flight on April 25th.

First Flight

On 19th April 2021, the Ingenuity Helicopter made history in Mars, hovering above the Jezero Crater. It demonstrated that powered, controlled flight on another planet is possible. The Ingenuity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab confirmed the success of the flight. It received data from the Helicopter via the Perseverance Rover.

Ingenuity is a Solar-Powered helicopter 49cm tall, which was airborne at 3:34am EDT and climbed to its prescribed altitude of 3 meters. It hovered stable for about 30 seconds, descended and touched back down on the surface of Mars after 39.1 seconds of flight.

Read more about first flight here

Second Flight

On 22nd April 2021, the experimental flight of Ingenuity lasted for 51.9 seconds. According to the team, it added several new challenges to its first flight. This included a higher maximum altitude, longer duration and sideways movement.

The second flight also took off at 5:33am EDT and climbed to 5 meters compared to 3 meters on its first flight. The flight control system performed a 5 degree tilt to accelerate the craft sideways for 2 meters.

Read more about second flight here

Third Flight

The third flight of Ingenuity took off at 4:31am EDT on 25th April 2021 and climbed up to 5 meters. It zipped downrange of 50 meters and reached a top speed of 2 meters per second.

The Dr. Dave Lavery, a researcher at NASA Headquarters said “with this flight we are demonstrating critical capabilities that will enable addition of an aerial dimension to future Mars missions”.

Read more about third flight here

The Ingenuity team is looking ahead to planning its fourth flight in few days’ time.

Source of information: Sci-News reports, based on the text provided by NASA.

Picture used for illustration only

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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