NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter reaches a new milestone in its Red Planet mission after flying through the difficult environment of the Martian territory for a total of 30 minutes.
NASA’s Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Reaches New Milestone | 30 Minutes Afloat on Red Planet
(Photo : by NASA via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED: In this concept illustration provided by NASA, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter stands on the Red Planet’s surface as NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover (partially visible on the left) rolls away. NASA’s Perseverance (Mars 2020) rover will store rock and soil samples in sealed tubes on the planet’s surface for future missions to retrieve in the area known as Jezero crater on the planet Mars.
As per the report by CNET, the monumental flight of the first-ever Martian helicopter of NASA or Nthe ational Aeronautics Space Administration concluded last Dec. 5.
However, it took some time before NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed its latest milestone due to technical hiccups after the flight.
NASA Mars Ingenuity Helicopter’s New Milestone
The lead of the Ingenuity team, Teddy Tzenetos, said in a statement of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory or JPL that the flight time of the Mars Ingenuity Helicopter has already reached more than 30 minutes.
In total, its flight time on the Martian planet has already reached 30 minutes and 48 seconds after successful 17 flights, JPL revealed in the same statement.
The Ingenuity team lead added that some observers previously doubted their success, considering that the environment of Mars is quite difficult to fly a helicopter due to its thin atmosphere, rocky surface, and cold temperature.
In fact, Tzenetos further added that “few thought we would make it to flight one, fewer still to five. And no one thought we would make it this far.”
But still, despite these challenges, the Martian chopper has already achieved 17 flights in total.
NASA Mars Ingenuity Technical Glitch
According to the news story by Space.com, despite the successful flight of the Martian chopper, the Ingenuity figured in a critical technical glitch after.
JPL disclosed in its statement that the glitch occurred as the chopper was concluding its 17th flight on the Red Planet. Thus, delaying the results of the Dec. 5 flight.
The technical mess specifically ruined that in-flight data stream of the helicopter, which took the Ingenuity team five days to confirm its latest flight.
The team leader of the helicopter added that they are expecting more post-flight data analysis delay as they are attempting to fly in the challenging environment outside Earth, noting that it is definitely an inconvenience.
NASA Mars Helicopter Next Flight
Nevertheless, JPL claimed that the first-ever Martian chopper “is in excellent condition” despite the short-lived technical hiccup.
As such, the NASA helicopter is already gearing up for its 18th flight on the rocky Martian planet on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
The next flight attempt of the Ingenuity is expected to add another 125 seconds from the now more than 30 minutes of flight time in the Red Planet.
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NASA Mars Helicopter
It is worth noting that the Mars helicopter was only supposed to fly only five times in the rocky terrain of the Martian planet.
However, it has already surpassed that and continues to soar high in its space mission, proving its critics wrong.
The chopper is working side-by-side with the NASA Mars Perseverance Rover.
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