Mars 2020

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter aces first longer-range flight on Mars

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter flew farther and faster Sunday than the rotorcraft’s first two test flights in the Martian atmosphere, traveling the length of a football field while exceeding distances and speeds achieved during testing on Earth, officials said. On Sunday’s test flight, the diminutive rotor-driven drone flew a distance of some 164 feet (50 meters) …

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NASA’s Mars helicopter completes second, higher flight

This is the first color image of the Martian surface taken by an aerial vehicle while it was aloft. The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured it with its color camera during its second successful flight test on April 22, 2021. At the time this image, Ingenuity was 17 feet (5.2 meters) above the surface and pitching …

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In another first, NASA’s Perseverance rover generates oxygen on Mars

This view from the Perseverance rover’s navigation cameras shows the “Mars 2020” and “Perseverance” name plates on the vehicle’s robotic arm. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech In another first, an instrument inside NASA’s Perseverance rover has made oxygen out of carbon dioxide sucked in from the atmosphere of Mars, officials said Wednesday. The technology could help future astronauts …

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After successful first flight, NASA wants to push Mars helicopter to its limits

The work isn’t over for NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter. Engineers hope to fly the rotorcraft four more times in the next two weeks before calling it quits on the pioneering technology experiment, which accomplished the first powered flight of an aircraft on another planet Monday. As officials celebrated the helicopter’s historic flight, teams were already …

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NASA celebrates first historic helicopter flight on Mars

A navigation camera on NASA’s Perseverance rover captured this view of the Ingenuity helicopter’s historic flight Monday. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech An automated mini-helicopter driven by two fast-spinning, counter-rotating rotors took off from the surface of Mars, hovered for 30 seconds, then successfully landed Monday to complete the historic first powered flight of a powered aircraft on …

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Mars helicopter needs a software update before attempting first flight

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unlocked its rotor blades, allowing them to spin freely, on April 7. They had been held in place since before launch, and the unlocking is one of several milestones that must be met before the helicopter can attempt the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. This image was captured by the …

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NASA’s Mars helicopter ready for pre-flight checkouts

The Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech Mission controllers plan to unlock the blades on NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter and spin them up to more than 2,000 rpm for a test later this week, a bit of “calisthenics”  before the rotorcraft’s first flight in the atmosphere of Mars as soon as this weekend, …

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Perseverance rover’s zoomable camera checks out on Red Planet

The Perseverance rover’s Mastcam-Z instrument took this picture of the Martian horizon Tuesday, March 30. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS Scientists have confirmed the first zoomable camera on Mars is in top-top shape since arriving aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover in February, adding a long-distance survey capability to the robot’s scientific toolkit. The zoomable imaging instrument, which is actually …

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Mars rover deploys Ingenuity helicopter for historic flight

This camera view from the Perseverance rover shows the Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s Perseverance rover released the Ingenuity helicopter onto the surface of Mars Saturday, leaving behind the experimental flying drone to survive on its own power until attempting a historic hop in the Red Planet’s thin carbon dioxide …

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Perseverance rover begins steps to deploy Mars helicopter

A camera on the end of the Perseverance rover’s robotic arm captured this view of the Ingenuity helicopter hanging from the robot’s belly Monday. Credit: NASA NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter is being lowered from the belly of the Perseverance rover this week as ground teams run through a choreographed long-distance command sequence to safely release the …

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