The Mars helicopter Ingenuity has made its third flight of the yr, which additionally marks its fortieth flight because it landed within the Jezero crater together with the Perseverance rover in February 2021. Regardless of being initially meant for simply 5 flights and having to weather the Martian winter, the little helicopter is still going strong because it comes as much as its second anniversary on the purple planet.

On the helicopter’s fortieth flight, it traveled from an space named Airfield Z to Airfield Beta, on its strategy to be a part of the Perseverance rover because it explores the Jezero river delta. It is going to assist scout forward for the rover, figuring out secure routes for the rover to drive because it searches for evidence of ancient life that might have existed when water was current on the planet’s floor billions of years in the past.

Ingenuity sits on a slightly inclined surface with about 6-degree tilt at the center of the frame.
Ingenuity sits on a barely inclined floor with a few 6-degree tilt on the heart of the body, simply north of the southern ridge of “Séíitah” geologic unit. The Perseverance rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument took this picture on Dec. 1, 2021, when the rotorcraft was about 970 ft (295 meters) away. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

The main points of every Ingenuity flight are recorded within the Flight Log, which reveals how far the flight was when it comes to horizontal distance lined, plus the utmost altitude and most groundspeed that the helicopter achieved, in addition to the flight length and route.

For Flight 40, Ingenuity traveled 584 ft (178 meters) and gained an altitude of 33 ft (10 meters), getting as much as a velocity of three.2 meters per second and staying within the air for simply over 90 seconds.

Whereas Ingenuity is within the air, it takes images not solely with its 13-megapixel shade digicam but in addition with its 0.5-megapixel black-and-white navigation digicam. The navigation digicam factors downward towards the floor and is utilized by the helicopter’s onboard laptop to find out its place and altitude. On a typical flight, the helicopter will take a number of shade photos however many extra black and white photos as these are wanted for it to fly accurately.

The entire photos Ingenuity takes are made publicly accessible, together with the navigation photos. So if you happen to ever needed to see what Mars seems to be like from the angle of a helicopter, you’ll be able to browse the gallery here. The gallery for the newest flight is here, with 10 black and white and two shade photos accessible.

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