In recent news, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has made its third successful flight on Mars by Sunday and was said to travel at a much faster rate in comparison to the testing done on Earth.
In accordance to Eastern Time at 1:31 AM, the helicopter ascended 16 feet and flew 164 feet for nearly an 80-second flight with a top speed of 6.6 per second. After receiving the flight data, NASA’s Dave Lavery stated the following:
“Today’s flight was what we planned for, and yet it was nothing short of amazing. With this flight, we are demonstrating critical capabilities that will enable the addition of an aerial dimension to future Mars missions.”
It is to be noted that the travel distance for the third flight is much larger in comparison to the second flight which was 7 feet while the first flight traveled only 10 feet. The helicopter initially arrived on Mars on February 18th with the Mars rover Perseverance, whose mission was to look for signs of life and take Martian soil samples. Although Ingenuity is more of a side indulgence for NASA in comparison to the main focus of the Perseverance mission, its ability to fly in Mars’ thin atmosphere will provide data useful for future explorations of Mars.