On November 21st, 2021 (Sol 268 of the Perseverance rover mission), Ingenuity, the Mars helicopter, made its 16th successful flight across the planet's surface, titled "Short Hop to the North."
Flight 16 was a 109-second flight, where Ingenuity climbed to 33 feet (10 meters), flew over the "Raised Ridges" at 3 miles per hour (almost 5 kilometers per hour), and landed near the edge of "South Seitah." This journey spanned 380 feet (116 meters) as the craft flew northeast.
Using a Return-to-Earth (RTE) camera oriented southwest, opposite to the flight path, NASA aimed to capture nine color images evenly spaced throughout the flight. Only four black and white photos have currently been posted, with color versions due to come in a later downlink.
This flight sets up Ingenuity to cross Seitah for Flight 17, bringing it closer to the goal of Wright Brothers Field. While Ingenuity waits for the Perseverance rover to catch up to it following Flight 17, a flight software update could potentially be implemented to enable new navigation capabilities in preparation for future flights.
This image was captured from the camera mounted on the helicopter fuselage, which points directly downward to track the ground over the flight. The image was captured November 21st, 2021, at 12:35:37 Mars' local mean solar time.
You can view the 2000+ images the Ingenuity helicopter has captured so far here.
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