NASA shows all of Ingenuity's flight trajectories in one video

April 23, 2024  12:08

NASA showed in one video the trajectory of all flights of the Ingenuity helicopter over the surface of Mars. The helicopter ended its primary mission after one of its wings broke earlier this year.

Over 72 flights and almost three years of operation, Ingenuity flew a total distance of 17,030 meters, spending 7,694 seconds (more than 128 minutes) in the planet's atmosphere. The maximum flight altitude of the device was 24 meters, and the maximum speed was 10 m/s. During the flights, Ingenuity took hundreds of color and several thousand black-and-white photographs with its cameras.

The main mission of the Ingenuity helicopter ended on January 25 when one of its wings was damaged, after which the device made an emergency landing. The last stable communication with Ingenuity took place on April 16, 2024. After the helicopter was damaged, NASA stores it for use in data collection.

“The helicopter will wake up every day, activate its computers and check the operation of the solar panels, batteries and electronics. It will also image the surface and collect temperature data,” NASA explained. It is expected that this information provided by Ingenuity could be useful to future Mars explorers when they find the lander and analyze its records.

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NASA has located Ingenuity and expects that other missions (such as the Perseverance rover, which will land Ingenuity on Mars in 2021) will be able to contact the helicopter when it is nearby. This can happen if Ingenuity is not completely buried in sand or if its batteries and electronics are not completely dead.

Following the Ingenuity crash, the Perseverance rover continues its primary science mission and has traveled more than 25.5 km. It is already several hundred meters from Ingenuity, moving forward and will soon lose contact with the helicopter.

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