NASA made history in April of this year, when it conducted the first ever piloted flight of an aircraft on Mars.
It was the Ingenuity helicopter that took the ride up to Mars on the NASA’s Perseverance Rover, developed to be a prototype craft that was intended to fly five times.
Today, the Mars helicopter has completed flight no. 35, and established a new record for altitude by reaching an altitude of fourteen metres (46 ft) over the red planet’s surface. NASA tweeted.
A record breaking NASA Ingenuity flight
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter flew its most recent record-breaking flight this Saturday, December 3. It surpassed the previous record at 12 meters (39 feet). The 35th flight of Ingenuity lasted 52 seconds in total.
“An record-setting high in the history of this Mars helicopter! Ingenuity accomplished Flight 35 over the weekend and set a new maximum altitude record at 46 feet (14 metres) higher than the Martian surface.” NASA wrote on Twitter.
NASA carried out Ingenuity’s 35th mission to move the helicopter into the new position, which is fifteen metres (50 feet) from the last place it was. The space agency performed this to ensure that Ingenuity could keep in contact in conjunction with the Perseverance rover that is currently studying the an ancient delta of a river on Mars in search of evidence of microbes.
NASA developed Ingenuity to prove that controlled flight is possible in the tiniest atmosphere of the red planet, and to test the possibility of future missions using drones similar to aircrafts to explore the universe. In the end, Ingenuity mission has gone beyond its original objectives. It also functions as an aerial survey of the Perseverance team to help them figure out the most efficient route in order to transport the Mars rover.
An all-time high for the #MarsHelicopter!
Ingenuity completed Flight 35 over the weekend and set a new max altitude record, hitting 46 ft (14 meters) above the Martian surface. See more stats in the flight log: https://t.co/7DMHj9LkNX pic.twitter.com/qAj5H9Z68C
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) December 6, 2022
The dusty, red sky’s the only limit for Mars’s Ingenuity helicopter
In the last month NASA released a new software version over around 140 million miles (225 million kilometers) across Earth up to Mars to permit Ingenuity to deal with more challenging terrains by using digital elevation maps as well as safety measures when landing.
This means that this means the Perseverance Ground Team is planning to launch additional Ingenuity flights after the record-breaking flight 35.
Ingenuity helicopter Ingenuity helicopter has evolved from a prototype machine to an actual air scout that provides the scientific community with an entirely new perspective on Mars during the process.
This Martian helicopter will function as a reference for future missions that also employ rotating craft to explore all the mystery of our universe. For instance NASA’s Dragonfly mission in 2030 will make use of a bigger version Ingenuity to investigate the atmospheric conditions of Saturn’s fascinating moon Titan that is another possibility for a home for alien life.