NASA successfully achieved its goal of flying a powered, controlled flight of its Ingenuity Mars mini-helicopter on Mars on April 25. Now Ingenuity is all set for its fourth flight on the red planet and it’s going to a lot more challenging.
Flight No. 4 is targeted for April 29. #MarsHelicopter has met or surpassed all its tech demo goals. Now, we’ll push performance. We’ll up the time airborne to 117 seconds, increase max airspeed to 3.5 m/sec (8 mph), & more than double the total range.
NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 29, 2021
SEE ALSO: Why Flying A Helicopter On Mars Is So Damn Hard
Talking about the technical objectives that Ingenuity achieved, NASA explains that the first objective was completed six years ago when the team demonstrated that powered, controlled flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars was more than a theoretical exercise. The second objective was to fly the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars which NASA accomplished with its first flight that took place on April 19. And the third objective was achieved with Ingenuitys third flight.
When Ingenuitys landing legs touched down after that third flight, we knew we had accumulated more than enough data to help engineers design future generations of Mars helicopters, said J. Bob Balaram, Ingenuity chief engineer at JPL. Now we plan to extend our range, speed, and duration to gain further performance insight.
Now, the team is looking forward to the fourth Ingenuity flight from Wright Brothers Field, which, is scheduled to take off Thursday, April 29, at 10:12 a.m. EDT.
The data is expected to reach back at NASAS JPL at 1:21 PM EDT. NASA explains that Ingenuitys fourth flight is going to be more ambitious than its last flights. Flight Four will have Ingenuity climbing to an altitude of 16 feet (5 meters) and then heading south, flying over rocks, sand ripples, and small impact craters for 276 feet (84 meters). But, that’s not it.
SEE ALSO: NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Flew On Mars For The Third Time, And Perseverance Took A Video!
Ingenuity will also be using its downward-looking navigation camera to collect images of the surface every 4 feet (1.2 meters) from that point until it travels a total of 436 feet (133 meters) downrange. Then, Ingenuity will go into a hover and take images with its colour camera before coming back to Wright Brothers Field.

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