Ingenuity Mars helicopter makes third successful flight:
The US space agency's Ingenuity helicopter made a third successful flight on Mars on April 25, moving farther and faster than ever before. Since making its maiden flight on April 19 and subsequent test flight on April 23, the little 'mars copter's soared to a height of 64 feet (50 meters) with a speed of 6.6. feet per second or four miles per hour.
In a statement, NASA said that Ingenuity took off from the Martian surface at 4:31 am EDT and rose to a height of 16 feet (5 meters). Following which it zipped downrange 164 feet (50 meters), just over half the length of a football field. The Perseverance rover, which carried the four-pound (1.8 kg) rotorcraft to Mars, filmed the 80-second third flight.
NASA explained that the lateral flight was a test for the helicopter's autonomous navigation system, which completes the route according to information received beforehand. "If Ingenuity flies too fast, the flight algorithm can't track surface features," NASA explained in a statement about the flight. The space agency further explained that it was because of mars’ atmospheric conditions that Ingenuity’s rotors have to spin five times more than what a helicopter would do on earth to achieve the same lift.
Even though it can be called a ‘helicopter’, the appearance is closer to that of mini-drones. The “small but mighty passenger” aboard Perseverance is named, “Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter” which weighs about 1.8 kilograms on Earth and has a fuselage about the size of a tissue box. The United States space agency also elaborated that it started out six years ago as an “ implausible prospect”. Ingenuity is an ‘experimental flight test: NASA has stressed that the ‘Mars Helicopter’ or what known as a technology demonstration is also “a narrowly focused project that seeks to test a new capability for the first time”.