Mars helicopter Ingenuity flies low and slow on lucky flight 13

Ingenuity flew for the 13th time on Sept. 4, 2021 on Mars.  (Image credit score: NASA)Number 13 was good luck for NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity, because the tenacious little craft seamlessly accomplished its 13th flight on the Red Planet on Saturday (Sept. 4). Ingenuity, or “Ginny” because it’s nicknamed, landed on Mars Feb. 18 tucked inside  NASA’s Perseverance rover. The 4-pound (1.eight kilograms) chopper has  flown for much longer and farther than mission group members initially anticipated, now with 13 flights underneath its belt when it was initially slated to make only a few quick technology-demonstrating sorties. “Happy Flight the 13th!” NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, which manages Ingenuity’s mission, tweeted Saturday in regards to the craft’s newest profitable Martian journey. Related: Watch NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter discover Mars’ intriguing Raised RidgesDuring Ingenuity’s 13th flight, the helicopter, which measures simply 19 inches (48 centimeters) tall, traveled at7.Three mph (3.Three m/s), slower than the 10 mph (4.Three m/s) pace it maintained on Flight 12. On Saturday’s flight, Ingenuity captured “images pointing southwest of the South Seítah region. This aerial scouting continues to aid in planning @NASAPersevere’s next moves,” JPL officers mentioned in the identical tweet. Happy Flight the 13th!🚁Ingenuity has achieved its 13th profitable flight on Mars. It traveled at 7.Three mph (3.Three m/s) taking pictures pointing southwest of the South Seítah area. This aerial scouting continues to assist in planning @NASAPersevere’s subsequent strikes. 5, 2021See moreDuring this flight, Ingenuity additionally flew at a decrease altitude than throughout its 12th flight, which additionally befell in the identical area. On Saturday, the craft flew simply 26 ft (eight meters) above the Martian floor , in accordance with a flight plan printed Sept. Three forward of the occasion. On its 12th flight, Ingenuity cruised about 33 ft (10 m) above the Martian floor. Saturday’s sortie marked the second time that Ingenuity explored the South Seítah area, which has a variable terrain that Ingenuity group members have beforehand described as carrying “substantial risk” whereas being “geologically intriguing.”However, regardless of the challenges of the area’s terrain, the flight appears to have gone off with out a hitch. The plan for Flight 13 concerned scoping out South Seítah additional, “to scout an area of outcrops glimpsed in Flight 12 imagery — but we’re taking these new pictures while looking back, pointing in the opposite direction,” Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Team Lead at JPL, wrote within the flight plan. On Flight 12, the helicopter explored the area and took pictures of ridgelines and outcrops. On Flight 13, the group deliberate for the craft to as an alternative focus on one particular ridgeline and outcrop, Tzanetos added. “Another big difference is which way our camera will be pointing. For Flight 13, we’ll be capturing images pointing southwest. And when they’re combined with Flight 12’s northeast perspectives, the overlapping images from a lower altitude should provide valuable insight for Perseverance scientists and rover drive planners,” Tzanetos mentioned. In additional evaluating this flight to its predecessor, “it again reinforces just how much we’re concentrating our efforts in one small area,” Tzanetos mentioned. “On Flight 12 we covered 1,476 feet (450 meters) of Martian ground in 169.5 seconds and took 10 pictures (again — all pointed northeast). On 13, we’ll cover about 690 feet (210 meters) in around 161 seconds and take 10 pictures (pointing southwest).”Email Chelsea Gohd at or observe her on Twitter @chelsea_gohd. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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