NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter now has three dozen Mars flights beneath its belt.
The 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity aced its thirty sixth Crimson Planet sortie on Sunday (Dec. 10), staying aloft for 60.5 seconds on a flight that lined 361 toes (110 meters) of horizontal distance.
Sunday’s hop got here only a week after Ingenuity set a brand new altitude document, hovering 46 toes (14 m) above the ground of Mars‘ Jezero Crater on Dec. 3. The chopper received a most of 33 toes (10 m) above the purple dust this previous Sunday, in accordance with the mission’s flight log (opens in new tab).
Associated: Soar over Mars rover tracks with Ingenuity helicopter (video)
Ingenuity landed with NASA’s Perseverance rover in February 2021, tasked with displaying that powered flight is feasible on Mars regardless of the planet’s skinny ambiance.
The helicopter aced that major goal throughout a five-flight marketing campaign within the spring of 2021 Ingenuity then shifted into an prolonged mission throughout which it is pushing the boundaries of Crimson Planet flight and serving as a scout for Perseverance.
The rover, in the meantime, is attempting to find indicators of historical Mars life and accumulating dozens of samples. If all goes in accordance with plan, this Mars materials shall be returned to Earth by a joint NASA/European House Company marketing campaign, maybe as early as 2033.
Based on Ingenuity’s flight log, the rotorcraft has traveled a complete of 24,633 toes (7,517 m) throughout its 36 sorties and stayed airborne for almost 61 minutes.
Perseverance is much more well-traveled. The car-sized rover has trekked a complete of 8.53 miles (13.73 km) (opens in new tab) on the ground of Jezero, which harbored a lake and a river delta billions of years in the past.
That is removed from the rover document, nevertheless. NASA’s Alternative Mars rover put 28.06 miles (48.15 km) miles on its odometer whereas exploring the Crimson Planet from 2004 to 2018 — farther than another robotic has traveled on the floor of a world past Earth.
Mike Wall is the writer of “Out There (opens in new tab)” (Grand Central Publishing, 2018; illustrated by Karl Tate), a e-book in regards to the seek for alien life. Observe him on Twitter @michaeldwall (opens in new tab). Observe us on Twitter @Spacedotcom (opens in new tab) and on Fb (opens in new tab).