NASA says Ingenuity’s helicopter travels 50 meters at a maximum speed of two meters per second on the third Martian flight.
The US space agency’s Ingenuity helicopter made its third flight to Mars, flying “faster and farther” than it did on all test flights on Earth.
In one declaration On Sunday, NASA said the helicopter had traveled 50 meters (164 feet) at a maximum speed of two meters per second (6.6 feet per second).
It was Ingenuity’s third flight since making its history first jump on the red planet earlier this month.
“Today’s flight was what we had planned, and yet it was just amazing,” said Dave Lavery, program director for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at NASA headquarters in Washington, DC.
Ingenuity reached Mars in February aboard the Perseverance rover after a seven-month journey from Earth.
Its maiden flight from Mars on April 19 Mark the first flight of a motorized plane on another planet.
NASA said most of the helicopter’s 80-second flight on Sunday, captured by Ingenuity’s cameras, would be returned to Earth in the coming days.
Third theft in the history books✅
Our #MarsHelicopter continues to set records, flying faster and further. The space helicopter demonstrates critical capabilities that could allow the addition of an aerial dimension to future missions to Mars and beyond. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/Uaxrr23Rfh
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) 25 April 2021
The helicopter will also soon make its fourth flight to Mars, the space agency said.
Flights are difficult due to the unique conditions on the planet – namely, the rarefied atmosphere on Mars which is less than 1 percent of the density of Earth.
The Ingenuity experiment will come to an end in a month to allow Perseverance to return to its main task of searching for signs of past microbial life on Mars.
Last week, NASA said it achieved another first in its mission to Mars after converting carbon dioxide in the Martian atmosphere into pure, breathable oxygen.
The unprecedented oxygen extraction was carried out on Tuesday by an experimental device aboard Perseverance.