NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has announced two new flights of a helicopter on the surface of the Red Planet.
That helicopter is none other than the Ingenuity helicopter that arrived on the surface of the Red Planet with its companion Mars Rover called Perseverance. Perseverance and Ingenuity touched down in the Jezero crater in February 2021, and since then, both the rover and the helicopter have been exploring the surface of Mars for any signs of microbial life.
It was only recently that NASA lost connection with Ingenuity after its 52nd flight as the helicopter flew too far away from its companion rover, temporarily severing the connection that was later re-established when the rover caught up to the small helicopter. Three months later, Ingenuity executed its 53rd flight, which, according to NASA, occurred on July 22 and saw the helicopter fly 468 feet horizontally at a maximum altitude of 16 feet. The flight lasted 74.9 seconds, and Ingenuity reached a maximum speed of 5.6 mph.
Before we heard about Ingenuity's 53rd flight, NASA announced that the small helicopter had already conducted its 54th flight on August 3. However, the 54th flight didn't see the helicopter move from any position besides up as NASA rides on its social media platforms that Ingenuity spent 24.4 seconds in the air at the height of 16 feet only to go back down to the same position that it once was.
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