The Ingenuity miniature helicopter took off from Mars on Friday and successfully made its fourth flight. It was again faster and further than previous times. NASA has now decided to allow the intelligence to fly longer than originally planned.
Creativity took off last week for the first time. Thus, it became the first plane to complete a flight on another planet. Then the creativity flew two more times, farther and faster than before.
On Thursday, something went wrong at first and the plane stayed on the ground. NASA engineers realized this problem from past tests. A day later, he succeeded on the second chance.
This time, the 1.8-kilogram helicopter had a mission to fly 133 meters in a southerly direction, among other things, to take pictures of a possible new landing site. This will be the final destination for the next journey on the red planet, as the air pressure is very low just above the surface.
NASA has now decided not to stop at those five flights to Mars. Powered by rechargeable Li-ion batteries, Ingenuity’s mission will be extended for an additional 30 days.
“After that, we’ll see how we do,” spokeswoman Lori Glaze told a US space agency news conference. “There is a possibility that we will last longer.”
The helicopter has to face the harsh conditions on the Martian surface: temperatures drop as low as -90 ° C at night, which is a challenge for batteries and electronics.
Due to their thin atmosphere, which is roughly 1% dense as that found on Earth, the Ingenuity vanes should accelerate to 2,537 revolutions per minute, which is twice what helicopters can achieve on Earth. Creativity draws energy for this voltage from its battery fed by sunlight.