News from November 5th reports that NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, the first artificial flyer to achieve powered, controlled flight on another planet, has successfully completed its 64th sortie on Mars at the end of October. Engineers had initially hoped for a mere five flights and had reservations about whether it would even take off.
With rotors spanning 4 feet (noted by IT Home to be approximately 121.92 centimeters) that whirl at a dizzying 2400 revolutions per minute, Ingenuity leveraged its onboard navigation camera to capture footage of this latest voyage. This camera is mounted on the helicopter’s body, pointed downwards to surveil the Martian terrain.
NASA’s car-sized Perseverance rover, with the scouting assistance of Ingenuity, is on a mission to hunt for signs of ancient life on Mars’ surface. So far, no evidence has been found to prove that life ever existed on Mars, yet these robotic explorers press on through the barren deserts, particularly around dried-up rivers, streams, and lakebeds where soil conditions may have once been ripe for life. Ingenuity and Perseverance are currently probing the Jezero Crater, a once water-filled river delta that planetary scientists believe could hold keys to the planet’s aqueous past.ShareSave