WATCH: NASA releases footage of its Mars helicopter flying over an alien desert

WATCH: NASA releases footage of its Mars helicopter flying over an alien desert

The Ingenuity helicopter flew well over 1,000 feet and reached an altitude of nearly 60 feet during the flight; in just 145.7 seconds

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Monday, April 17, 2023, 03:35 PM IST
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WATCH: NASA releases footage of its Mars helicopter flying over an alien desert | NASA

NASA's helicopter achieved a historic milestone when it completed its 50th flight on Mars on April 13. The Ingenuity helicopter flew well over 1,000 feet and reached an altitude of nearly 60 feet during the flight. Not just that, the tiny helicopter travelled that far in just 145.7 seconds.

NASA also shared footage of Ingenuity's 47th flight. The video was captured by the Mastcam-Z imager aboard NASA's Perseverance rover on March 9, 2023. At the time the video was taken, the rover was about 394 feet (120 meters) from the helicopter.

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"Just as the Wright brothers continued their experiments well after that momentous day at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the Ingenuity team continues to pursue and learn from the flight operations of the first aircraft on another world," said Lori Glaze, director of the Planetary Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington said in a statement.

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The space agency explained, "This video shows the dust initially kicked up by the helicopter's spinning rotors, as well as Ingenuity taking off, hovering, and beginning its 1,444-foot (440-meter) journey to the southwest." It further added, "The rotorcraft landed - off camera - at Airfield 'Iota.'"

No previous planetary mission could achieve what Ingenuity could. Ingenuity landed on the Red Planet in February 2021 attached to the belly of NASA's Mars Perseverance rover and will soon mark the two-year anniversary of its first flight, which took place on April 19, 2021.

NASA said that beyond facing more challenging terrain, Ingenuity will also fly at a greater frequency in the coming days because the helicopter needs to remain within electronic earshot of the rover.

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