KOMPAS.com – Instead of completing flight tests in early May, NASA added an extra month for the Ingenuity helicopter to explore new difficult terrain and serve as a reconnaissance for its companion rover, Perseverance.
NASA officials announced the extension of flights on Friday (1/5/2021). This is after NASA assessed that Ingenuity was able to complete three short flights in less than two weeks.
As soon as NASA announced the news, there was other good news. Ingenuity has made its fourth flight on Mars.
On Friday (1/5/2021), Ingenuity made the fourth trip and managed to cover a distance of 266 meters with a height of 5 meters for two minutes. The flight was much farther and longer than before.
It previously carried out a test flight on Thursday, but failed due to a software glitch.
Also read: Third time success, NASA helicopters fly longer on Mars
Reported ABC News, Sunday (2/5/2021), if NASA’s Perseverance probe is on Mars to collect samples, Ingenuity is there to fly.
“The purpose of the helicopter is one single purpose, which is to show how we can fly in the Martian atmosphere,” explained NASA’s Science Mission Directorate Thomas Zurbuchen in a Twitter video.
However, Ingenuity has an added advantage. He can take in some unique views of Mars that we haven’t seen before.
“Since we were already there, we decided to install some cameras to capture the moment,” said Dr Zurbuchen.
Faster, farther, bolder. #MarsHelicopter is set for flight No. 3 on April 25. https://t.co/1wUTLiBm7d
Range: 330ft (100m) roundtrip
Altitude: 16ft (5m)
Data expected later Sunday. Til then, peep this shot of rover tracks from the 2nd flight. pic.twitter.com/0qjtWC3jCz
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 23, 2021
On its fifth flight, which will take place in a week or so, the 1.8 -kilogram helicopter will move to a new airport on Mars.