Mars Ingenuity Helicopter marks the successful completion of its eighth test flight
NASA JPL has shared a tweet with a selfie taken by the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter. The picture was snapped through the helicopter’s eighth test flight on Monday of the week. While NASA isn’t sharing an abundance of information regarding the eighth test flight, what it has said is that the helicopter flew for 77.4 seconds over a distance of 160 meters.
Following the short flight, Ingenuity landed at a fresh spot roughly 133.5 meters from the Perseverance rover. The image is interesting and shows the shadow of Ingenuity since it flew over the surface of Mars. The image shows the dual rotors of the helicopter frozen and looking like the wings of a dragonfly.
Things have already been going smoothly for the Ingenuity helicopter after it suffered a substantial glitch during its sixth test flight. On that flight, there is a problem with an individual frame from the images taken by the navigation cameras aboard the spacecraft being lost, leading to the helicopter being struggling to determine where exactly it had been and becoming unstable. Luckily, Ingenuity could land safely and continue operations.
NASA celebrated the seventh test flight of the helicopter earlier this month, and that flight went off with out a hitch. NASA has extended testing operations for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter right into a new stage, and much more test flights will undoubtedly be performed. NASA happens to be conducting tests to observe how missions using flight could be conducted in the foreseeable future.
Another successful flight for Ingenuity! The#MarsHelicopter completed its 8th flight on Monday. It flew for 77.4 seconds and traveled 160 meters to a fresh landing spot about 133.5 meters from @NASAPersevere, capturing its shadow in this image. pic.twitter.com/cDY3etLjTf
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) June 22, 2021
With the success of the helicopter at first glance of Mars up to now, it will be no real surprise if most future Mars missions and potentially missions to other planets include rotorcraft of these own. By flying on the surface of Mars instead of rolling as a rover does, Ingenuity can cover more ground quicker, potentially expanding the region it could investigate.