On Monday (August 16), NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity flew for the 12th time on the Red Planet, serving as monitors in the sky for its bigger counterpart, the Perseverance rover.
The mission was intended to provide reconnaissance for the rover’s ongoing explorations of a region known as South Sétah, as per a flight plan NASA published before the attempt, which described the mission as “ambitious.”
Ingenuity scientists said in the plan, “Flying over Sétah South entails high danger due to the variable terrain.” “It is because of the tremendous rewards that we opt to accept the risks connected with such a flight. The fact that we will be able to assist the Perseverance group with science planning by giving unique airborne footage is sufficient motivation.”
Unlike most of Ingenuity’s recent flights, this one was a round journey. That option was appropriate for the flight’s objective. Ingenuity was getting extensive reconnaissance information for the rover while the helicopter was focused on staying ahead of Perseverance.
Because, while flying above South Sétah is unsafe for the small chopper, driving through the area is likewise hazardous for the Perseverance rover. The location, on the other hand, contains full of fascinating rocks that Perseverance’s science group would like to investigate further.
Perseverance scientists will use the ten or so color images and a stereo scene that Ingenuity was assigned to acquire during its trip to help them decide where to place the rover. Perseverance is hunting for a fresh target to attempt packing away for the future trip to transport to Earth after its maiden sampling attempt flopped to catch any rock.
According to NASA, Ingenuity flew a total of around 2.2 kilometres and spent approximately 19 minutes inside these Martian skies during its first 11 missions. The 12th flight increased the total by nearly 1,500 feet and 169 seconds. Ingenuity has well exceeded its intended goal of flying five times around its original deployment site in a month to demonstrate that piloting a rotorcraft on Mars is viable.
As a component of NASA’s Mars 2020 program, Ingenuity is a miniature robotic helicopter that operates on Mars. It took off vertically, hovered, and landed on April 19, 2021, making it the first powered regulated trip by an aircraft on the planet other than Earth. The solar-charged battery-fuelled coaxial drone rotorcraft intended for a technology demo of the prospective use of flying probes on upcoming missions to Mars as well as other worlds now undertakes the operations demo of scouting areas of involvement for the Perseverance rover, with 12 successful trips as of August 16, 2021. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory created ingenuity (JPL). AeroVironment, Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, SolAero, NASA Langley Research Center, and Lockheed Martin Space are among the other contributors.