NASA has taken to its social channels and its mission flight log to announce that Ingenuity, which touched down with the Mars rover Perseverance in 2021, has achieved its 70th flight on the surface of the Red Planet.
Ingenuity was originally sent to Mars with Perseverance as an experiment to see if flight was possible on another planet. Ingenuity proved that it certainly was, and while it was initially designed for just five flights, the small helicopter has surpassed all expectations by NASA engineers, achieving an astonishing 70 flights and counting.
After completing its primary mission, NASA switched Ingenuity over to being a forward scout for Perseverance, which essentially entails flying Ingenuity ahead of Perseverance and capturing as much data about the terrain and upcoming environment as possible. With that data, NASA maps the safest routes for Perseverance while also identifying any upcoming locations for scientific prospects. On Flight 69, Ingenuity broke its record for most distance in a single flight, covering 2,315 feet over 135.4 seconds at a speed of 22.4 mph.
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