NASA to extend mission Ingenuity helicopter on Mars by 30 sols

Spread the love

NASA to extend the mission of the Ingenuity helicopter. The aircraft was supposed to be retired after last Friday’s test flight, which was successful. Following the success, NASA is still looking to see if Ingenuity can further assist with the mission.

Ingenuity gets an extra 30 sols to see what the helicopter can add. A sol is about as long as a day on Earth. One difference between this extended mission and the original helicopter exercise is that the Perseverance rover will no longer take photos of the flights. According to NASA employee Jennifer Trosper, that took “an awful lot of time” and that it is at the expense of Perseverance’s ability to do its own research work: looking for signs of past life and collecting samples for possible collection.

As part of this extended mission, Ingenuity will make a flight to a new flight zone, where the aircraft will remain. Until now, it has always come back to the rover. In this new zone, the aircraft’s reconnaissance and imaging capabilities will be further explored. However, the device will make flights less often; where that is still every few days, it will be every two to three weeks. NASA expects that, despite the greater distance, Perseverance will still be able to keep in touch and can serve as a relay for communication. Ingenuity and Perseverance can communicate with each other at a distance of up to 1000 meters.

For the fourth test flight, Ingenuity climbed to a height of 5 meters after which he covered a distance of 133 meters and returned. The flight lasted 117 seconds.

.fb-background-color { background: #ffffff !important; } .fb_iframe_widget_fluid_desktop iframe { width: 100% !important; }