NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has been on Mars virtually two years and the high-tech contraption continues to be in ok form to get airborne.

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the NASA unit overseeing the most recent Mars mission that additionally consists of the Perseverance rover, tweeted a GIF (beneath) exhibiting the view from Ingenuity because it buzzed above the martian floor on Wednesday, January 11.

#MarsHelicopter retains exploring the Martian skies!
Ingenuity just lately accomplished Flight 39. The rotorcraft stayed aloft for about 79 seconds, touring 460 toes (140.25 meters) at an altitude of 33 toes (10 meters) and returning to its authentic take-off location.

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) January 12, 2023

Throughout Ingenuity’s thirty ninth flight, the plane stayed within the air for round 79 seconds. It flew a distance of 460 toes (140.25 meters) and reached an altitude of 33 toes (10 meters) earlier than returning to its launch location.

Ingenuity didn’t break any data throughout its newest flight, nor did it carry out any explicit duties, but it surely confirmed to JPL operators that the plucky machine continues to be in glorious working order and all set for additional missions to help the Perseverance rover.

Ingenuity and Perseverance arrived on the red planet in spectacular fashion in February 2021, and the helicopter took its first historic hover two months later in April, changing into the primary plane to attain powered, managed flight on a planet apart from Earth.

Its longest time within the air is 169.5 seconds, achieved on flight 12 in August 2021, whereas the longest distance coated to this point is a formidable 2,325 toes (708.9 meters), achieved in April 2022. It’s additionally reached speeds as quick as 12.3 mph (19.8 kph) and and flown as excessive as 46 toes (14 meters) throughout its quite a few journeys.

The plane was initially despatched to Mars to easily take a look at the viability of such a tool in an environment a lot thinner than Earth’s, which means it confronted a better problem to get airborne as elevate is more durable to attain there. However after nailing the primary flight, and a number of other thereafter, the Ingenuity workforce began utilizing the helicopter’s down-facing digicam to help the ground-based Perseverance rover.

Ingenuity did this by capturing photographs of the terrain, enabling the rover workforce to plan safer and extra environment friendly routes for its automobile because it set about exploring areas of scientific curiosity.

NASA is now contemplating constructing a extra superior model of Ingenuity that could possibly be used as a part of the Mars Sample Return mission that may endeavor to return martian mud and rock samples to Earth within the early 2030s.

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