Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way journey

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s fifth flight was captured on Could 7, 2021, by one of many navigation cameras aboard the company’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter ascended to a brand new top file of 33 toes (10 meters) flew 424 toes (129 meters) to a brand new touchdown web site. This was the primary time the helicopter made a one-way flight. It was airborne a complete of 108 seconds. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter accomplished its fifth flight on the Pink Planet at present with its first one-way journey from Wright Brothers Area to an airfield 423 toes (129 meters) to the south. After arrival above its new airfield, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude file of 33 toes (10 meters) and captured high-resolution colour pictures of its new neighborhood earlier than touching down.

The flight represents the rotorcraft’s transition to its new operations demonstration part. This part will concentrate on investigating what sort of capabilities a rotorcraft working from Mars can present. Examples embody scouting, aerial observations of areas not accessible by a rover, and detailed stereo imaging from atmospheric altitudes. These operations and the teachings discovered from them may considerably profit future aerial exploration of Mars and different worlds.

“The fifth flight of the Mars Helicopter is one other nice achievement for the company,” stated Bob Pearce, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Analysis Mission Directorate. “The persevering with success of Ingenuity proves the worth of bringing collectively the strengths of various talent units from throughout the company to create the longer term, like flying an plane on one other planet!”

The flight started at 3:26 p.m. EDT (12:26 p.m. PDT, 12:33 p.m. native Mars time) and lasted 108 seconds. The Ingenuity crew selected the brand new touchdown web site based mostly on data gathered throughout the earlier flight—the primary “aerial scout” operation on one other world—which enabled them to generate digital elevation maps indicating nearly fully flat terrain with nearly no obstructions.






NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter accomplished its fifth flight with a one-way journey from Wright Brothers Area to a brand new airfield 423 toes (129 meters) to the south on Could 7, 2021. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech

“We bid adieu to our first Martian house, Wright Brothers Area, with grateful thanks for the help it offered to the historic first flights of a planetary rotorcraft,” stated Bob Balaram, chief engineer for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at JPL. “Regardless of the place we go from right here, we’ll at all times carry with us a reminder of how a lot these two bicycle builders from Dayton meant to us throughout our pursuit of the primary flight on one other world.”

Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way trip
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s was captured after touchdown on Could 7, 2021, by the Mastcam-Z imager, one of many devices aboard the company’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter ascended to a brand new top file of 33 toes (10 meters) and flew 424 toes (129 meters) to a brand new touchdown web site. This was the helicopter’s fifth flight, and the primary time the helicopter made a one-way flight. It was airborne a complete of 108 seconds. Credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

The Wright brothers went on from proving powered, managed flight was doable to making an attempt to higher perceive how the brand new know-how may very well be employed. Similarly, NASA seeks to study extra with Ingenuity how operations with next-generation helicopters may gain advantage future exploration of the Pink Planet. This new part will deliver added threat to Ingenuity, with extra one-way flights and extra precision maneuvering.

Having efficiently landed at its new airfield, Ingenuity will await future directions, relayed through Perseverance, from mission controllers. The company’s fifth rover to the fourth planet can be heading south, towards a area the place it should start science operations and pattern assortment. The rover crew’s near-term technique does not require lengthy drives that would go away the helicopter far behind, permitting Ingenuity to proceed with this operations demonstration.

“The plan ahead is to fly Ingenuity in a fashion that doesn’t cut back the tempo of Perseverance science operations,” stated Balaram. “We might get a pair extra flights in over the subsequent few weeks, after which the company will consider how we’re doing. We’ve got already been capable of collect all of the flight efficiency knowledge that we initially got here right here to gather. Now, this new operations demo offers us a possibility to additional broaden our data of flying machines on different planets.”


With objectives met, NASA to push envelope with Ingenuity Mars helicopter


Supplied by
Jet Propulsion Laboratory

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Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way journey (2021, Could 8)
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