NASA’S Mars Helicopter flies farther & faster on 4th trip

Ingenuity logs a 4th successful & longer flight. The Mission Crew announces Ingenuity will transition into an Operational Phase.
Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 4:49 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - One Small Step for Man. One Giant Leap for Aviation. The Mars Helicopter Ingenuity has done it again. After checking-off the main mission goals in its first three flights, Ingenuity took off for a fourth time Friday. The helicopter traveled a little more than a football field downrange to survey a new potential landing site. After returning to a spot near the Perseverance Rover, the Mission Crew will collect & analyze the data/photos.

With its main goals completed, NASA announced that Ingenuity mission will transition to an operation phase for its sixth flight. The fifth flight will be a one-way trip to its new landing site. If it survives & Mission Crew can still send instructions, the team will push the helicopter even further - all in an effort to gather more data and test flight on another planet.

NASA has now proven that humans are capable of flying an aircraft on another planet. The data and results from Ingenuity’s flights will be used for future flights in future missions. Not only are engineers hoping the helicopter will go higher or farther, they’re also aiming to issue more commands to Ingenuity - like snapping aerial photos.

The Mars Ingenuity Mission operates alongside the Mars Rover Perseverance. The rover’s main mission is astrobiology - searching for signs of ancient microbial life in Mars’ Jezero Crater.

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