“Go Big Or Go Home!” – Mars Helicopter Flies Higher And Longer In Second Flight 

“Go Big Or Go Home!” – Mars Helicopter Flies Higher And Longer In Second Flight 

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter completed a second flight on Mars Thursday morning, just three days (April 19) after making history with the first helicopter to liftoff on another planet. 

Ingenuity autonomously flew for approximately 1 minute and climbed to an altitude of 16 feet. It briefly hovered and moved sideways 7 feet. This flight was more complex than the first. 

“Go big or go home! The Mars Helicopter successfully completed its 2nd flight, capturing this image with its black-and-white navigation camera,” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) tweeted. “It also reached new milestones of a higher altitude, a longer hover and lateral flying.”

Go big or go home! The #MarsHelicopter successfully completed its 2nd flight, capturing this image with its black-and-white navigation camera. It also reached new milestones of a higher altitude, a longer hover and lateral flying. pic.twitter.com/F3lwcV9kH2

— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 22, 2021

NASA’s rover Perseverance tweeted a short GIF of Ingenuity’s second flight. 

#MarsHelicopter Flight #2 is in the books! I’ve captured its higher, bolder flight, and I’ll be sending back all my latest frames soon. Meanwhile, here’s a quick preview, including takeoff and two turns. pic.twitter.com/MmNOuIQ8ly

— NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 22, 2021

Mars’s super-thin atmosphere is just 1% the density of Earth’s, making it more challenging for the helicopters’ blades to spin around and need about 2,500 revolutions per minute to generate lift. For comparison, on Earth, most helicopters operate at about 450-500 revolutions per minute.

“So far, the engineering telemetry we have received and analyzed tell us that the flight met expectations and our prior computer modeling has been accurate,” said Bob Balaram, chief engineer for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a statement.

Balaram continued: “We have two flights of Mars under our belts, which means that there is still a lot to learn during this month of Ingenuity.”

The team is prepared for three more flights next week. 

Tyler Durden
Thu, 04/22/2021 – 18:45

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