NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Completes 12th Flight, Scouts Ahead For Perseverance Rover

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has finally completed a dozen. However, it’s still not enough; the chopper is now contributing to the red planet by helping the rover Perseverance in its mission to find ancient microbial life signs. Rising 32ft above the surface of Mars on Sunday, Ingenuity completed flight 12 in 169 seconds.

Ingenuity soar over an area called “South Seita” with rocks and outcrops of rock and rocks that the Perseverance Rover team is interested in. NASA’s JPL called the area a “geological wonder.”

“Flying over Seitah South carries substantial risk because of the varied terrain,” Ingenuity team lead Teddy Tzanetos posted a status before the flight. In addition, the helicopter’s navigation system was designed to work on flat terrain, making it difficult to identify rugged landscapes. Rotorcraft Encountered some technical problems; however, it survived all.

“When we choose to accept the risks associated with such a flight, it is because of the correspondingly high rewards,” Tzanetos said. “Knowing that we have the opportunity to help the Perseverance team with science planning by providing unique aerial footage is all the motivation needed.” 

Ingenuity effortlessly handled flight 12 risks. Moreover, ingenuity hasn’t stopped delivering record flights since then. It first returned to the air on April 20.

This image shows the path of the Perseverance Rover, which was intended to see South Seita on its 12th flight, in grey, and the Ingenuity helicopter in green.

Ingenuity’s work has always been about risks. Fortunately, it has continuously shown how an aerial vehicle can be a valuable scout for a ground-based rover. Flight 12 specifically proved to be a vital component for the Perseverance team. Exploring potentially unsafe terrain allows for a much safer rover ride.

Perseverance is anticipated to gather with Ingenuity in the days to come. NASA’s scientists will examine the images to see which rocks to look at next. NASA has not yet scheduled future Ingenuity flights, but its next stop, number 13, will likely be superstitious.

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