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Mars helicopter achieves fastest, furthest flight yet

April 25, 2021. Summarized by summa-bot.

Compression ratio: 41%. 1 min read.

The Ingenuity helicopter has successfully flown for the third time on Mars in a week. During Sunday's flight, the helicopter went faster and further than it did in the previous trials, according to NASA.

The helicopter climbed to the same altitude from its second flight -- about 16 feet (5 meters) above the Martian surface -- but this time it increased its speed.

During previous flights, Ingenuity was moving at about 1. 1 miles per hour (0. 5 meters per second).

Now, the chopper has boosted that speed to 4. 5 miles per hour (2 meters per second), according to the plan for Sunday's flight.

The flight plan also included Ingenuity flying 164 feet (50 meters) north before returning to touch down at its landing site.

"While that number may not seem like a lot, consider that we never moved laterally more than about two-pencil lengths when we flight-tested in the vacuum chamber here on Earth," wrote Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars helicopter chief pilot at JPL, in an update.

During its second flight on April 22, Ingenuity autonomously flew for almost 52 seconds, climbing 16 feet (4. 9 meters) up through the Martian atmosphere.

"Our plan from Day One has been to prepare like crazy, fly, analyze the data (like crazy), and then plan for an even bolder test in the next flight. "

by summa-bot

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