Ingenuity helicopter sets record on Mars
The Martian helicopter has risen above the surface of the planet higher than ever, and set several more records.
The Ingenuity helicopter made its 35th flight over the surface of Mars and flew to a height of 14 meters, which has never been done before. Also, this first aircraft on another planet has already covered a huge distance for the entire time of flights on the Red Planet and was in the air for a record amount of time.
December 3, 2022 went down in history as the day when the first aircraft on another planet was able to climb to the highest altitude today. The Ingenuity helicopter, which weighs only 1.8 kg, during its 35th flight on Mars rose into the air to a height of 14 meters, which is an absolute record for it. During the flight, Ingenuity covered a distance of 15 meters, and the flight itself lasted 52 seconds. This aircraft is the first of its kind to be able to fly to another planet, in this case Mars.
During the previous three flights, this helicopter was able to climb to a height of 12 meters. It is likely that the helicopter will also be able to overcome the record bar for itself.
For all the time of his research sorties, he has already covered a total of 7,407 meters of distance and during this time he was in the air for almost 1 hour. That is, he has already set a record for the distance and duration of flights on another planet, if we take the general statistics. Of course, so far there is nothing to compare his achievements with, but this is an important milestone in space research.
The flight, which was carried out by the Ingenuity helicopter on December 3, was the first since November 22 and the second after a major update to its software. According to a NASA statement, the new update will allow the helicopter to better navigate the terrain and make safer landings.
The Mars helicopter Ingenuity landed on the surface of the Red Planet along with the Perseverance rover in the Jezero crater back in February last year. NASA wanted to test how possible the flight of an aircraft in the rarefied atmosphere of Mars.
Scientists planned that the helicopter would be able to carry out only 5 sorties, but the data showed that this aircraft is much more tenacious, and therefore its mission was extended. The helicopter has repeatedly encountered various difficulties, but if all goes well, NASA will soon be able to celebrate the two-year anniversary of helicopter flights on Mars. Now, the Ingenuity spacecraft is helping the Perseverance rover navigate the surface, avoiding various dangers in the 45 km diameter Lake Lake crater.
This crater contained a lake and a river delta billions of years ago, so the rover continues to collect rock samples in the hope of finding signs of extraterrestrial life in them. These samples will be delivered to Earth early next decade.