NASA Car-Sized Rover Captures Helicopter's Epic Flight on Mars

NASA's Ingenuity Flight 13 captured by Perseverance rover 8 photos
Photo: NASA/JPL via Youtube
NASA's Ingenuity Flight 13 captured by Perseverance roverNASA's Ingenuity Flight 13 captured by Perseverance roverViews captured by Ingenuity of the Jezero Crater region called SéítahViews captured by Ingenuity of the Jezero Crater region called SéítahViews captured by Ingenuity of the Jezero Crater region called SéítahViews captured by Ingenuity of the Jezero Crater region called SéítahNASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this image overlooking the “Séítah” region using its navigation camera
NASA has released video footage captured by the Perseverance rover on Mars of its little helicopter buddy Ingenuity. We're seeing for the first time what the rotorcraft's 13th flight looked like from the rover's perspective.
Flight 13 was one of the most challenging flights of the helicopter on Mars. Ingenuity was commanded to cross a complex region called Séítah characterized by sandy ripples hard to cross for wheeled vehicles.

Since it's risky for Perseverance to venture into Séítah, the rover team assigned the chopper to take images of an outcrop from multiple angles to better study the region. Thus, the helicopter flew over the rugged terrain at a lower altitude covering around 690 feet (210 meters) in 161 seconds.

The rover, which was watching from nearby, captured Ingenuity's trip on Mars with its Mastcam-Z dual-camera mounted on its head. NASA has released two clips that show different perspectives of Flight 13. We see the chopper flight profile in one of them, and in the other, we get a zoomed-in view of the takeoff and landing.

In both videos, there's a small aircraft slowly taking off from the left corner, kicking up some Martian dust once its blades start to spin. Ingenuity executes a small spin after climbing to its targeted maximum height of 26 feet (8 meters) to line up its color camera for its assigned mission and then starts to power through the thin air horizontally before moving offscreen.

Once it snaps 10 photos of the southwest region Séítah, the rotorcraft lands close to where it initially took off. The different landing spot was chosen to avoid a ripple of sand it landed on during its previous flight.

The video footage taken by Perseverance shows how the journey was planned, and it gives us a glimpse of Ingenuity's remarkable capabilities. The helicopter has flown much longer than NASA has planned initially, and it shows no signs of stopping.

Currently, Ingenuity is gearing up for its 16th flight, which is expected to take place on Saturday, November 20th.

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About the author: Florina Spînu
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Florina taught herself how to drive in a Daewoo Tico (a rebadged Suzuki Alto kei car) but her first "real car" was a VW Golf. When she’s not writing about cars, drones or aircraft, Florina likes to read anything related to space exploration and take pictures in the middle of nature.
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