Space – NASA’s Ingenuity reaches new heights, quite literally! Mars Helicopter attains record height during 10th flight
NASA Mars Ingenuity Helicopter: US space agency NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter made its highest flight yet, which was also the most complex to date as the space helicopter flew over the Raised Ridges area of the Red Planet. This marked the tenth flight of the spacecraft, which had been sent by NASA to conduct increasingly difficult autonomous flights as a testing of new technology. During this flight, Ingenuity covered a horizontal distance of 233 metres or about 764 feet and reached an altitude of 12 metres or 40 feet in a record achievement. Now, the helicopter has collectively covered a distance of more than one mile on all of its flights.
Ingenuity took its tenth flight on July 24, and as per NASA, it was the most complex one for the spacecraft since several maneuvers were performed by the space helicopter during this flight. Apart from that, it also passed through 10 distinct waypoints.
In this flight, the helicopter flew above the rocky Raised Ridges area in the Jezero Crater, where the Perseverance Rover had landed with Ingenuity attached to its belly in February earlier this year. Raised Ridges is to the south of the landing point of Perseverance, and Ingenuity was sent to scout the area aerially because scientists are interested in sending Perseverance to explore this area sometime in the future.
Ingenuity had been designed to only undertake four flights, but has been able to perform more than double of that since it first took off in April, with each flight increasing in complexity. The tenth flight went on for a duration of 165.4 seconds, just about a second short of its previous record – Ingenuity flew for 166.5 seconds during its ninth flight that it undertook on July 5. Ingenuity flew from Airfield F to Airfield G in the tenth flight, and is now stationed at the latter airfield.