NASA releases video of Ingenuity’s record-breaking flight to Mars


It flew a distance of 704 m at a speed of 19 km/h

NASA released a video showing the record-breaking flight of the Ingenuity helicopter on the Red Planet last month.

The video, filmed on April 8 but released only on May 27, shows the shadow of a tiny helicopter on Mars that flew 704 meters at a speed of 19 km/h. The video captured Ingenuity’s 25th flight as it flew faster and farther than ever before, with a maximum height of 10m.

Ingenuity sends its data to the Perseverance rover, which relays the information to a passing Mars orbiter. The data is then transmitted from Mars to NASA’s deep space radio dish network on Earth.

Since the video is larger than the photo, it takes quite a long time to send such material through interplanetary networks. At the same time, in such missions, priority is given to operational data. Therefore, the video comes with such a delay.

The video begins about a second after the start of the flight. It shows how the helicopter moves to the southwest and reaches its maximum speed in the next three seconds.

The helicopter first flies over a group of sand ripples and then, around the middle of the video, over several rocky fields. Finally, relatively flat terrain appears below, providing a good landing site.

The total flight time of 161.3 seconds was reduced by a factor of five for video. The navigation camera is turned off before landing so that dust does not interfere with the operation of the navigation system when the helicopter is about 1 m from the surface.

Ingenuity is currently recovering from a communication failure caused by dust problems, but should be ready to take on its 29th flight shortly.