April 26th, 2021
Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, have acquired knowledge confirming a profitable third flight of Ingenuity, its most bold but.
The third flight of NASA’s robotic Martian helicopter occurred Sunday morning at round 4:31 a.m. EDT (08:31 UTC) April 25, 2021. It was about 12:33 p.m. native Mars time on sol 64 of the Perseverance rover mission.
After climbing about 17 toes (5.2 meters), Ingenuity’s flight took the helicopter to about 164 toes (50 meters) away from its authentic liftoff level at a velocity of 6.5 toes (2 meters) per second earlier than returning to the beginning location and touchdown. Its whole flight distance was half the size of a soccer subject, in keeping with NASA.
“Whereas that quantity might not appear to be lots, take into account that we by no means moved laterally greater than about two-pencil lengths once we flight-tested within the vacuum chamber right here on Earth,” stated Chief Mars Helicopter Pilot Havard Grip in a status update on April 23. “And whereas the Four meters of lateral motion in Flight Two (2 meters out after which 2 meters again) was nice, offering a number of terrific knowledge, it was nonetheless solely Four meters. As such, Flight Three is an enormous step, one through which Ingenuity will start to expertise freedom within the sky.”
The total flight at “Wright Brothers Discipline” lasted about 80 seconds and was photographed by the Perseverance rover, stationed some 215 toes (about 65 meters) away at “Van Zyl Overlook.”
As Ingenuity makes extra flight makes an attempt, each is predicted to comprise extra helpful knowledge than the primary as scientists be taught to navigate the difficulties of flying an plane on Mars.
The 1.8-kilogram helicopter, which is classed as a know-how demonstration, is predicted to make no less than two extra flights on the Martian floor earlier than the top of its roughly 30-day mission, which started at in regards to the begin of April. After that, engineers say the Perseverance rover will proceed with its science mission.
Based on NASA, the fourth flight of Ingenuity is predicted throughout the coming days.
Video courtesy of NASA
Having a life-long curiosity in crewed area flight, Desforges’ ardour materialized on a household trip in 1999 when he was in a position see the launch of Area Shuttle Discovery on STS-96. Since then, Desforges has been an fanatic of area exploration efforts. He lived in Orlando, Florida for a yr, throughout which era he had the chance to witness the flights of the historic CRS-Four and EFT-1 missions in particular person at Cape Canaveral. He earned his Personal Pilot Certificates in 2017, holds a level in Aviation Administration, and at present works as an Operations Analyst within the aviation trade in Georgia.