May 16, 2021

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NASA ingenuity completes the fourth flight on Mars, which was “farther and faster than ever before”


NASA announced Friday that Ingenuity has successfully completed its fourth flight, which has seen the small helicopter fly farther and faster than ever before.

The $ 85 million plane traveled 872 feet (266 meters) at 16 feet (5 meters) for two minutes.

The US Space Agency received the downlink data at 1:39 PM ET that showed the helicopter took off from the “Wright Brothers Field” under the watchful gaze of the Perseverance spacecraft at 10:12 AM ET.

Perseverance, who sat 210 feet away, snapped a photo of her fourth flight companion traveling through the thin atmosphere on Mars.

‘Success. #MarsHelicopter # completed its fourth flight, traveling further and faster than ever before. It also took more photos while it was flying over the surface of Mars. We expect these images to be downloaded at a later data link, but Hazcam @ NASAPerseverance snapped up part of the trip, ‘NASA’s JPL shared on Twitter.

The flight was tentatively scheduled for Thursday, but the data link showed the creativity didn’t switch to flying mode – meaning it never left Earth.

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NASA received downlink data at 1:39 PM ET that showed the helicopter took off from the “Wright Brothers Field” under the watchful gaze of the Perseverance craft at 10:12 a.m. ET (pictured)

Project manager Mi Mi-ung told reporters that creativity loves Mars. “It kicks off and I feel the freedom he feels.”

The space agency said it would continue to push the four-pound helicopter to its maximum in every subsequent test, this time nearly doubling the speed of the third flight.

Because of the delay in transmitting data from 187 million miles between the Jezero Crater on Mars and NASA JPL in California, the team waited for three hours or so before receiving confirmation of the successful flight.

The minivan achieved all of its goals, including flight duration, distance, and speed, on the first three flights – so it “ surpassed the fourth flight ” far beyond what NASA engineers designed at JPL.

The flight was tentatively scheduled for Thursday, but the data link showed the creativity didn't switch to flying mode - meaning it never left Earth.

The flight was tentatively scheduled for Thursday, but the data link showed the creativity didn’t switch to flying mode – meaning it never left Earth.

The minivan achieved all of its goals, including flight duration, distance and speed, on the first three flights - so the fourth flight `` went way beyond what NASA's JPL engineers designed (pictured is the third helicopter flight)).  )

The minivan achieved all of its goals, including flight duration, distance and speed, on the first three flights – so the fourth flight “ went way beyond what NASA’s JPL engineers designed (pictured is the third helicopter flight)). )

Creativity was set up to 16 feet above Mars airport, it headed south over rocks, sand ripples and shock pits to 872 feet and used its navigation camera to collect images of the surface every four feet.

While flying, the rotating plane was supposed to use the downward-facing navigation camera to collect images of the surface until it traveled a total distance of 436 feet.

Ingenuity: the little rotating plane that reached Martian’s sky

Creativity is designed to be a technological guide rather than carrying any of its scientific experiments or equipment.

He rode to Mars in the belly of a persistent SUV-sized rover.

The helicopter took off from the “Wright Brothers Field” on Monday, April 19, marking the first powered flight in another world.

On the first flight, the helicopter took off, climbed about 10 feet above the ground, briefly flew through the air, completed a turn, and then landed.

Designed to be light and sturdy to survive the harsh mars environment.

It weighs just under 4 pounds and is only 19 inches high because it has to fly in a much thinner atmosphere – about 1% of the atmosphere on Earth.

It can fly up to 980 feet, rise to 15 feet in the sky and can spend about 90 seconds in the air before landing.

The rotors are 4 feet in diameter and the vehicle contains solar panels that charge lithium-ion batteries.

It has a lifespan of 30 days, with a total of five flights expected at that time.

After that, Ingenuity was set to fly and shoot with a high-resolution color camera before returning to the Wright Brothers landing field.

Perseverance watched the fourth flight unfold from about 210 feet, as it had done with previous flights.

On its fifth flight in another week or so, the four-pound (1.8 kg) helicopter will move to a new airport on Mars, allowing the spacecraft to finally begin to focus on its rock sampling mission.

The rover is looking for clues to ancient life in Jezero Crater, home to a lush lake and river delta billions of years ago.

A few hours before the flight is confirmed, NASA announced that Ingenuity would receive a promotion as a partner in the Perseverance Operations.

The helicopter is set to conduct aerial reconnaissance over the surface of Mars, which will begin after its next two flights.

Friday’s announcement comes as the Perseverance rover advances ahead of schedule with a thorough examination of all vehicle systems since landing on February 19.

NASA shared in a statement: “ With the Mars helicopter power, telecommunications and in-flight navigation systems performing beyond expectations, an opportunity has arisen to allow the helicopter to continue exploring its capabilities through a practical demonstration of operations, without significantly affecting the probe schedule. ”

Demonstration of operations will begin in approximately two weeks with the sixth helicopter flight.

Until then, creativity will be in a phase of transition that includes its fourth and fifth forays into the scarlet sky of Mars.

“The Innovation Technology demonstration was a huge success,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Director of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

With Ingenuity still in excellent health, we plan to use it to benefit future aerial platforms while setting priorities and moving forward with the short-term science goals of the Perseverance rover team.

The minivan achieved all of its goals including flight duration, distance and speed, on the first three flights – so the fourth would push the envelope further than what NASA engineers at JPL designed.

Flying on Mars is particularly challenging due to the fact that its atmosphere accounts for only 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere at ground level, and while low gravity helps a third of that on Earth, it is only partial compensation for the thin atmosphere.

This means that in order to fly, the helicopter has to be very light and its blades rotate very quickly in order to achieve lift.

The drone is designed as a technical demonstration to see if an aviation component will be viable and feasible for future planetary science and exploration missions.

It does not contain any scientific equipment on board, other than a navigation camera and a full-color landscape camera.

Creativity made history on April 19 when it became the first powered vehicle to take off and land in another world, what NASA called the “Wright Brothers’ moment.”

Creativity is set up to 16 feet above Mars airport, head south over rocks, sand ripples and impact craters for 276 feet and used its navigation camera to collect images of the surface every four feet

Creativity is set up to 16 feet above Mars airport, head south over rocks, sand ripples and impact craters for 276 feet and used its navigation camera to collect images of the surface every four feet

Previously, flights had seen creativity take off from Mars airport and flew 10 feet in midair

Previously, flights saw an ingenious take off from Mars airport and flew 10 feet in midair

Moving 10 feet in the air, the plane flew and then landed again on Mars at the landing site that the agency has since named after the famous inventors of the aircraft.

For the second flight, the creativity was higher and further than it had been during the first flight, traveling 16 feet in the air, flying and accelerating seven lateral feet.

The third flight took this one step further, rising 16 feet, then going 164 feet at 4.5 mph, before landing on the surface of Mars.

“From millions of miles away, Ingenuity examined all the tech squares that we had at NASA about flight potential and control on the red planet,” said Laurie Glaze, director of the Department of Planetary Sciences at NASA.

Future Mars exploration missions can now look with confidence at the additional ability that aerial exploration might bring to a science mission.

A few hours before the flight is confirmed, NASA announced that Ingenuity would receive a promotion as a partner in Operation Perseverance.  The helicopter is set to conduct aerial reconnaissance over the surface of Mars, which will begin after its next two flights

A few hours before confirmation of the flight, NASA announced that Ingenuity would receive a promotion as a partner in the Perseverance Operations. The helicopter is set to conduct aerial reconnaissance over the surface of Mars, which will begin after its next two flights

This black and white photo was taken by the navigation camera on board NASA's Ingenuity helicopter during its third flight.

This black and white photo was taken by the navigation camera on board NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter during its third flight.

The creativity team had three goals to fulfill to completely declare the tech demo a success.

They completed the first goal about six years ago when the team demonstrated in the 25-foot-diameter space simulation room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) that controlled flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars was more than just a theoretical exercise.

The second goal – flying on Mars – was achieved when the creativity first flew on April 19.

The team surpassed the last major goal with the third flight, when creativity soared 16 feet, flew 164 feet and returned at a top speed of 6.6 feet per second – until a photo of perseverance along the way was snapped.