NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter accomplished its fifth flight on the Purple Planet right now with its first one-way journey from Wright Brothers Area to an airfield 423 toes (129 meters) to the south. After arrival above its new airfield, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude file of 33 toes (10 meters) and captured high-resolution colour photos of its new neighborhood earlier than touching down.
The flight represents the rotorcraft’s transition to its new operations demonstration part. This part will give attention to investigating what sort of capabilities a rotorcraft working from Mars can present. Examples embrace scouting, aerial observations of areas not accessible by a rover, and detailed stereo imaging from atmospheric altitudes. These operations and the teachings discovered from them may considerably profit future aerial exploration of Mars and different worlds.
“The fifth flight of the Mars Helicopter is one other nice achievement for the company,” mentioned Bob Pearce, affiliate administrator for NASA’s Aeronautics Analysis Mission Directorate. “The persevering with success of Ingenuity proves the worth of bringing collectively the strengths of numerous talent units from throughout the company to create the longer term, like flying an plane on one other planet!”
The flight started at 3:26 p.m. EDT (12:26 p.m. PDT, 12:33 p.m. native Mars time) and lasted 108 seconds. The Ingenuity crew selected the brand new touchdown web site primarily based on data gathered in the course of the earlier flight—the primary “aerial scout” operation on one other world—which enabled them to generate digital elevation maps indicating nearly fully flat terrain with nearly no obstructions.
“We bid adieu to our first Martian residence, Wright Brothers Area, with grateful thanks for the assist it supplied to the historic first flights of a planetary rotorcraft,” mentioned Bob Balaram, chief engineer for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at JPL. “Regardless of the place we go from right here, we are going to at all times carry with us a reminder of how a lot these two bicycle builders from Dayton meant to us throughout our pursuit of the primary flight on one other world.”
The Wright brothers went on from proving powered, managed flight was potential to trying to higher perceive how the brand new know-how could possibly be employed. In a similar way, NASA seeks to be taught extra with Ingenuity how operations with next-generation helicopters may gain advantage future exploration of the Purple Planet. This new part will carry added danger to Ingenuity, with extra one-way flights and extra precision maneuvering.
Having efficiently landed at its new airfield, Ingenuity will await future directions, relayed by way of Perseverance, from mission controllers. The company’s fifth rover to the fourth planet can be heading south, towards a area the place it’ll begin science operations and pattern assortment. The rover crew’s near-term technique does not require lengthy drives that would depart the helicopter far behind, permitting Ingenuity to proceed with this operations demonstration.
“The plan ahead is to fly Ingenuity in a fashion that doesn’t cut back the tempo of Perseverance science operations,” mentioned Balaram. “We could get a pair extra flights in over the following few weeks, after which the company will consider how we’re doing. We now have already been capable of collect all of the flight efficiency information that we initially got here right here to gather. Now, this new operations demo offers us a chance to additional develop our data of flying machines on different planets.”
With objectives met, NASA to push envelope with Ingenuity Mars helicopter
Ingenuity Mars helicopter completes first one-way journey (2021, Could 8)
retrieved Eight Could 2021
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