US Space Agency NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has made a successful flight to Mars for the third time. During this time, the helicopter went to a height of 16 feet and covered a distance of 164 feet. The maximum speed of the helicopter during the flight was 6.6 feet per second, which is four times higher than the earlier speed. NASA said that a video clip of the entire campaign will be released in the coming days.
NASA’s helicopter flew for 80 seconds
Dave Lavery, program executive of the Ingenuity Project, said that today’s flight was exactly what we had planned and yet it was nothing short of amazing. The 80-second flight was sot using a Mastcam Z mounted on NASA’s Perverence Rover. The same rover had brought this helicopter weighing four pounds with NASA.
The trouble with Mars environment
NASA reported that flight algorithms cannot track surface characteristics if ingenuity flies too fast. Ingenuity flights are challenging due to varying conditions from Earth. The biggest obstacle in this is the atmosphere of Mars. Which is much thinner than our density here.
NASA in preparation for the fourth flight
NASA said that they are now preparing for the fourth flight. Each flight will try to set a higher altitude and distance. Ingenuity made its first flight on 19 April. During this time he was blown to a height of 10 feet from the ground.
What is the job of a helicopter on Mars?
The need for rotorcraft on Mars is because the unseen-unknown surface there is extremely bumpy. Orbiters circling in Mars orbit can see clearly only from a higher altitude to a limit. At the same time it is not possible for the rover to go to every corner of the surface. In such a situation, a rotorcraft is needed that can fly to difficult places and take high-definition pictures. The 2 kg Ingenuity was named by India’s student Vanija Rupani through a competition.