Mars Helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ Completes Its 40th Flight on Mars – Slashdot

“NASA’s tiny Ingenuity helicopter now has 40 off-Earth flights under its belt,” reports

The 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity lifted off yet again on Thursday (Jan. 19), staying aloft for nearly 92 seconds on a sortie that covered about 584 feet (178 meters) of horizontal distance. The flight repositioned Ingenuity, moving it from “Airfield Z” on the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater to “Airfield Beta,” according to the mission’s flight log. That journey took the little chopper over some sand dunes, as imagery captured during the hop shows….

Ingenuity is a technology demonstrator designed to show that aerial exploration is possible on Mars despite the planet’s thin atmosphere. The helicopter’s prime mission covered just five flights, which Ingenuity knocked out shortly after touching down inside Jezero. The chopper then shifted into an extended mission, during which it has been pushing its flight capabilities and serving as a scout for Perseverance. The helicopter’s aerial observations help the rover team identify potentially interesting scientific targets and pick the best routes through the rugged landscapes on Jezero’s floor.

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