One way this time!

Marshelicopter Ingenuity successfully traveled into airspace for the fifth time. The helicopter took off from a place called the Wright Brothers Field, as it had on previous flights, and then landed – for the first time – completely differently.

The helicopter rose to a height of 10 meters during the fifth flight. Never before has a helicopter ever flown at this height; The previous flights took place at a maximum altitude of five meters.

A persevering Martian rover captured this image during its fifth Ingenuity flight. Photo: NASA / JPL-Caltech.

Once high, the helicopter traveled 129 meters. While the helicopter has steadily returned to the takeoff site during previous flights, this has not yet happened. After the 129-meter flight, the helicopter took some color pictures of the area below, and then landed there.

New landing site
The new Ingenuity landing site has been – like the first – carefully chosen. This is based on data that Ingenuity collected during the fourth flight. The data enabled the researchers to create an elevation map of the area and choose a site that is nearly flat and contains no rocks or other obstructions.

Extended mission
Before the creativity mission, NASA had hoped to complete about five flights on the Red Planet. But the mission was so successful that the US Space Agency decided to extend it. The fifth task is actually the transition between the main and the extended mission. During the main mission, NASA wanted to determine if a helicopter could fly to Mars. During the extended mission, the space agency wants to demonstrate what a helicopter can do while exploring the red planet. Could it be used, for example, to map the rover’s working area and thus help plot a safe path for a vehicle on Mars? And could it, for example, explore areas on Mars that are inaccessible from the air? NASA hopes to have answers to these questions in the near future. Meanwhile, more experience is, of course, also gained by flying in other worlds.

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NASA expects to make a few more flights in the coming weeks. Then, it will review how Ingenuity is performing again and whether more flights can be made.

Hear the creativity fly
Found last week Fourth successful test flight of Ingenuity Place. During that trip, audio recordings were made for the first time! Recordings were made by persistence. At first you only hear the wind, but later the Ingenuity vanes are added.

The audio recordings are unique. Never before has a rover on another planet made sound recordings of another human-made object on the same planet. It is still interesting whether perseverance will succeed in making the recordings; The rover was about 80 meters from the helicopter when Ingenuity took off. But he could still pick up the chopper with a microphone.