Ingenuity has completed its most challenging flight. Ingenuity is a helicopter designed and developed by NASA to fly on Mars. It arrived at the Red Planet in February along with the Perseverance rover. The helicopter has so far conducted nine flights on the planet. According to NASA, the ninth flight was the most challenging for Ingenuity since its arrival. The helicopter broke several of its records. According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which oversees the mission, the helicopter flew for 166.4 seconds in the Martian atmosphere. It broke the previous record of 139.9 seconds. The helicopter had achieved this feat during its sixth flight in May.
The helicopter weighs 4 pounds. Its height is 19 inches. It covered a distance of 625 meters during the ninth flight. This is more than twice the previous highest distance the helicopter had covered. Ingenuity’s last highest distance during a flight was 266 meters. It made this record during the fourth flight in April. Besides, the helicopter also hit a speed of 5 meters per second. This is 1 mph faster than the previous record achieved during the sixth flight. Ingenuity is the only object that has flown on any planet outside Earth. NASA becomes the only agency to achieve this feat. A controlled flight in a thin Martian atmosphere is full of challenges. Ingenuity has carbon-fiber blades. These blades are arranged into two rotors. The rotors can complete 2,400 revolutions in a minute.
The helicopter has survived all the challenges on the planet. NASA said that it has surpassed expectations. It is a demonstration of the technology by NASA that can redefine the human approach towards Mars’ exploration. More advanced versions of the helicopter can be developed and sent to the planet to explore the Earth’s neighbor. It can help scientists to find safe routes for rovers so that they can move quickly on the surface. It will help scientists to explore areas that are difficult to reach by a rover. NASA said that more test flights will be conducted to push Ingenuity to its limit. This will help the agency to refine the technology and its design as well.