Tech&Science

Mars helicopter Ingenuity successfully completes 9th Flight (PHOTO)

12:21, 06 July 2021
Mars helicopter Ingenuity successfully completes 9th Flight (PHOTO) Photo: NASA/wikimedia.org

Mars helicopter Ingenuity has successfully completed its ninth and most challenging mission - a high-speed flight across unfriendly terrain far away from the rover Perseverance, NASA reported.


"Mars Helicopter pushes its Red Planet limits. The rotorcraft completed its 9th and most challenging flight yet, flying for 166.4 seconds at a speed of 5 m/s. Take a look at this shot of Ingenuity’s shadow captured with its navigation camera," NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory said on Twitter.

It helped NASA to accomplish their next goal to take a shortcut straight across a portion of the Seitah region and land on a plain to the south. On the way, Space Agency is aiming to take color aerial images of the rocks and ripples.

Flight 9 will also provide the rover science team with close-up images of the Seitah terrain. 

The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover on July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral station in Florida and landed on February 18 this year on Jezero Crater, Mars. Once the rover reached a suitable location on the Red Planet, it released Ingenuity to the surface so it could perform a series of test flights over a 30-Martian-day experimental window.

For the first flight on April 19 Ingenuity took off, climbed to about 10 feet above the ground, hovered in the air briefly, completed a turn, and then landed. It has already flown at altitudes up to 33 feet and ground speeds up to 13 feet a second, covered a distance of 873 feet on Flight 4 and stayed in the air for 139.9 seconds on Flight 6. The helicopter has even survived an in-flight anomaly while still landing within about 16 feet of its intended target, NASA said.