Mars’ original helicopter completed a spectacular fourth flight, setting a new record

During the fourth flight of the helicopter on April 30, 2021, one of many hazard cameras on the Perseverance Rover might see NASA’s Insinuity Mars helicopter (positioned on the higher proper).

Originality efficiently completed its fourth flight in the present day, and we will now not be glad.The helicopter takes off at 10:49 am Eastern Time (7:49 am Pacific Time, or 12:33 native time) Mars Time), climbed to an altitude of 16 toes (5 meters), then flew south about 436 toes (133 meters), after which returned for a spherical journey of 872 toes (266 meters). In complete, we flew within the air for 117 seconds.This is one other set of data for helicopters, even with Spectacular third flight.

During the flight, we additionally used a shade digicam and Ingenuity’s black and white navigation digicam to seize a massive variety of pictures, which may observe floor options throughout flight. The picture of the navigation digicam is normally utilized by Ingenuity’s flight controller after which discarded, until we particularly inform the helicopter to retailer it for later use. During this flight, we saved extra pictures than earlier flights: within the final 164 toes (50 meters) earlier than the helicopter returned to its touchdown web site, a complete of about 60 pictures have been saved.

NASA's original Mars helicopter takes its fourth flight

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover used its left Mastcam-Z digicam to seize a picture of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter (high proper). Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras positioned excessive on the rover’s mast. This is a nonetheless picture captured from the sequence when the digicam was capturing the video. The picture was obtained in April. On March 30, 2021 (Sol 69), the native common photo voltaic time is 12:33:27. Image supply: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU / MSSS

Capturing such a picture presents a technical problem, it’s one other option to take a look at ingenuity, and offers a hen’s-eye view of Mars that people have by no means seen earlier than. We will use these pictures to review the floor options of the terrain. Some of our black and white pictures have been taken as stereo pairs, permitting us to check the flexibility to 3D imaging surfaces and research the elevations of various places beneath us. Adding this dimension to future missions can present a big selection of reconnaissance potentialities for areas the place rovers can’t roam, close-up pictures that orbiters can’t present, or areas that increase the vary of future human explorers.

But within the close to future, we can have a lot of knowledge to research. Ingenuity is excellent on Mars. For our total group, that is a fantastic time!