National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity just flew farther and faster than before.
On April 8, Friday, the 4-pound Ingenuity aced its 25th flight on Mars, setting new personal bests for speed and distance.
On Twitter, Tuesday, April 12, “#MarsHelicopter is breaking records again! Ingenuity completed its 25th and most ambitious flight. It broke its distance and ground speed records, traveling 704 meters [2,310 feet] at 5.5 meters per second while flying for 161.3 seconds,” the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) in Southern California, which manages Ingenuity’s mission.
In July 2021, According to Ingenuity’s flight log, the most significant distance covered by the helicopter had been 2,051 feet, achieved during a flight. Its previous speed record was 5 meters per second, which it reached on multiple flights.
Friday’s sortie did not set a duration record. However, that mark is 169.5 seconds, set during an August 2021 flight.
Ingenuity landed on the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater in February 2021 with NASA’s life-hunting, sample-caching Perseverance rover. The small chopper deployed from the rover’s belly that April embarked upon a five-flight, one-month mission designed to show that aerial exploration is possible on Mars despite the planet’s thin atmosphere.
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