June 14, 2024

The NASA Mars Intelligence helicopter flew fast on the fourth flight

4 min read

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Exceeds expectations: Ingenuity completed its fourth flight on Friday, traveling farther than its previous missions to the surface of Mars.

There were NASA engineers The helicopter with 4 pounds crashed, Because they are pushed to new limits on every flight. But in this case, small rotorcraft rose at record speeds above rocks, sand ripples and small craters.

NASA has not yet released details of the aircraft, but the ingenuity calls for it to climb 16 feet into the air and reach a maximum speed of 3.5 meters per second – NASA engineers are not sure if this can be achieved.

The helicopter has so far proven successful, NASA announced Friday Give ingenuity an extended task. The original plan was to drop the helicopter after its fifth flight. But now, NASA engineers are planning to turn ingenious photos into a 3D map of an unnamed landscape that includes Friday. From that data, they will select a new airport where the drone will attempt to land in a week during its fifth flight.

Once at that new airport, the ingenuity is to spend another 30 days testing the operations that NASA wants to conduct with future space helicopters. This includes scouting and mapping, observing interesting features of Mars from the air and exploring the rugged terrain inaccessible to rovers.

“The ability of the helicopter to fly into the ground, the rover cannot travel and cannot bring back scientific data – this is very important for future missions that could connect a rover with a spy helicopter,” diligent scientist Ken Barley told a conference on Friday.

Ingenuity 4th Flight

The first attempt at an aerial adventure on Friday was unsuccessful. The flight was originally scheduled for Thursday, but was damaged by software damage The helicopter stopped lifting. NASA engineers expect 15% of flight efforts to result.

Ingenuity If the Friday flight had gone as planned, it should have taken off from ET at 10:46 a.m. and flown for 117 seconds. Intelligence planned to travel about 436 feet south, pasting photos of Mars along the way. At the time, it was expected to take and take pictures with its color camera, and then land back in its original location.

Ingenious Helicopter Mars Fourth Air Perseverance Rover

After the fourth flight on April 29, 2021, the Perseverance Rover took an ingenious photo on the surface of Mars.

NASA / JBL-Caltech / ASU

On April 19 the first flight of ingenuity, the helicopter Made history Through a height of 10 feet from the surface of Mars. Never before has a spacecraft operated a controlled, powered aircraft on another planet. Then on April 22, the ingenuity reached a height of 16 feet Moved sideways For the first time.

Sunday, helicopter Travel 50 meters (164 feet) – half the length of a football field. It moved faster than before, increasing its air speed to 2 meters per second or 4.5 miles per hour. Until that flight, even when tested on Earth, the ingenuity did not fly so fast.

Mars Helicopter Intelligence NASA GIF

Animation of NASA’s ingenious helicopter exploring the surface of Mars.

NASA / JBL-Caltech

Friday’s flight was the helicopter’s most daring, but things are still dangerous.

Ingenuity and diligence begin new stages of work

Once the ingenuity reaches its new airport, the Percussion rover that took the helicopter to Mars – is set to go on its main mission on the red planet: Hunting fossils of ancient alien microbes. It aims to take dozens of rock samples and store them on a future spacecraft and bring them back to Earth. They were the first models brought home by mankind from Mars.

Ingenious next planes, meanwhile, will collect data on new terrain, which is very dangerous for the rover.

“In doing these action scenes, we naturally push the limits of ingenuity,” Mimi Ang, project manager for ingenuity, told the conference on Friday. “We hope to fly over unexplored terrain and, over time, continue to relocate to well-classified airports. So there is a high probability of a bad landing.”

Intelligent Helicopter First Photo Shadow Air Mars

When he flew to Mars for the first time on April 19, 2021, Ingenuity pasted a photo of its shadow on the ground below.


Ang had previously said that a bad landing would put an end to ingenious flights.

Flying to Mars is not easy

To fly ingenuity, many factors have to go right. The helicopter flies spontaneously, using its cameras to monitor the surface features of Mars. So there can be no more dust on its camera lenses as it may interfere with navigation.

Increasing the speed also challenges the submarine’s dynamics and navigation system.

“We’re going to take pictures of the ground below,” the ingenious chief pilot Howard Griff told a recent conference. “As we travel faster on the ground, the features in those pictures will quickly disappear from you.”

During test flights, NASA engineers were able to prevent accidents by pressing the emergency ground button. But on Mars, they can’t afford that kind of control.

Mars Intelligence Helicopter NASA Perseverance Rover

The ingenuity of Mars, on April 5, 2021, sat where the rover of perseverance abandoned it.

NASA / JBL-Caltech

Whatever happens after this, NASA engineers already consider the ingenious mission a success.

“If there had been an ingenious crash after the first flight, we would have encountered two major milestones, including escape from the launch pad, charging on the way in, and entry, descent and landing,” said Shanna Vitro-Maser, Leading Intelligent Vehicle Systems, Recently wrote on Reddit.

“Stopping the rover and escaping on a cold Tuesday night are no small task,” he added. “If the flight had not been successful, we would have learned a lot of data and lessons. Think of everything as a bonus!”

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