Farther and Faster Than Ever Before
Imagery has come down from
“For our record-breaking flight, Ingenuity’s downward-looking navigation camera provided us with a breathtaking sense of what it would feel like gliding 33 feet above the surface of Mars at 12 miles per hour,” said Ingenuity team lead Teddy Tzanetos of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter made a record-breaking 25th flight on April 8, 2022. The navigation camera aboard the rotorcraft captured its longest and fastest flight to date on the Red Planet. The helicopter covered 2,310 feet (704 meters) at a max speed of 12 mph (5.5 meters per second). Credit: NASA/
Ingenuity’s flights are autonomous. “Pilots” at JPL plan them and send commands to the Perseverance Mars rover, which then relays those commands to the helicopter. During a flight, onboard sensors – the navigation camera, an inertial measurement unit, and a laser range finder – provide real-time data to Ingenuity’s navigation processor and main flight computer, which guide the helicopter in flight. This enables Ingenuity to react to the landscape while carrying out its commands.
Mission controllers recently lost communication with Ingenuity after the rotorcraft entered a low-power state. Now that the rotorcraft is back in contact and getting adequate energy from its solar array to charge its six lithium-ion batteries, the team is looking forward to its next flight on Mars.
More About Ingenuity
The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which also manages the project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity’s development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.
At NASA Headquarters, Dave Lavery is the program executive for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.
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