NASA’s Creative Helicopter, which is roaming Mars for signs of ancient life, has completed 25 record-breaking flights into the weak atmosphere. When the small helicopter was sent on a one-way flight, with its roving partner Perseverance, engineers were planning only five flights. While space agencies usually set their goals conservatively to maximize their production, creativity has exceeded expectations by continuing to send valuable data from the Red Planet to ground stations. but that is not all! Creativity achieved other milestones during its twenty-fifth voyage.
On April 8, when the flight took off, the helicopter flew farther and faster than ever before. She broke records for both distance and speed, climbing 704 meters, up to 5.5 meters per second. Ingenuity’s black and white navigation camera captured some “amazing” photos during the flight. NASA engineers have put them together in a video, which shows a panoramic view of a robotic helicopter for a flight across Mars.
Brilliance has made a few flights since the 25th flight. NASA said it is currently preparing for its 29th flight.
The helicopter’s navigation camera provided them with an “amazing sense” of what it would feel like to glide over the surface of Mars during the record-breaking flight, said Teddy Zanitos, the creative team leader.
The video starts one second after the flight. The helicopter heads to the southwest after reaching an altitude of 10 metres, reaching top speed in less than three seconds.
Watch the video here:
According to NASA, Ingenuity flights are self-driving. Its handlers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) plan the flights and send commands to the rover, which relays these commands to the helicopter.
Last year, NASA extended the Mars mission of the rover and helicopter indefinitely. The helicopter sometimes encounters technical problems during its long life. Recently, Ingenuity lost contact with mission controllers for the first time in its first year of operation. But the problem was immediately corrected.