NASA announces that it has intentions for its Ingenuity Mars helicopter in order to make its 6th flight on the Red Planet next week. This happens two weeks when the helicopter completes its 5th flight on May 7. It has been traveling 423 feet (129 meters), then achieving an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) beyond its new docking field.
The US space agency says that the 6th flight is going to be the first to be performed. This is during the helicopter’s functions display stage and involves:
- Scouting multiple surface features from the air
- Landing at a different airfield
This is the initial time Ingenuity will be on its own, not including the Perseverance rover looking over it. On all its earlier five flights, the Perseverance rover shares images of Ingenuity. Subsequently, the flight, statistics, and pictures will be sent to Earth.
Casting light on the rotorcraft’s prepared flight, NASA says the helicopter will act as follows:
- Rise to 33 feet (10 meters)
- Then head southwest 492 feet (150 meters)
Once it reaches that distance, Ingenuity will start obtaining color pictures of a region of interest, as it converts to the south around 50-66 feet (15-20 meters). Says NASA in a letter on its Mars operation website.
It adds that stereo pictures of the sand waves and ridges of bright rocks at the location will assist prove the value of an aerial view for upcoming operations. Once the rotorcraft finalizes its image compilation, it is to fly around 164 feet (50 meters) northeast. This is where it will touch down at “Field C,” its latest base of actions.
On this flight, NASA anticipates the Ingenuity to attain a ground speed of 9mph (4 meters per second) and the time upward to be about 140 seconds. The agency says it is the first time that the rotorcraft will touch down at an airport not inspected earlier from the air. The Ingenuity team, NASA says, is dependent on pictures by a HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The pictures indicate the Field C is fairly flat and has few surface obstacles.
NASA shares its proposals for the 6th flight of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter. This is only days after it shares spectacular 3D illustrations of the rotorcraft’s 5th flight. Which it captures on May 7. The helicopter takes off upright and hovers for a few seconds. This is prior to zooming past our eyes to the right of the screen. It then resumes and docks nearly at a similar spot. The organization says that witnessing the series was virtually like resting on the red planet. This is next to the Perseverance rover, which captures the historical moment and seeing the helicopter take flight first-hand.
The triumph of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter on the red planet is proof that a flight that has power and control is feasible on Mars. The first-ever Ingenuity flight on the red planet was called the “Wright brothers’ moment on Mars” by MiMi Aung.