NASA Expands Plans For Helicopter On Mars

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In this image taken by the Mars Perseverance rover and made available by NASA, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter, right, flies over the surface of the planet on Friday. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS via AP hide caption

NASA is allotting additional time to test the operational capabilities of its groundbreaking Ingenuity helicopter, which completed its first powered flight on Mars less than two weeks ago. Since then, the device has completed a total of four flights. If all goes well following its fifth voyage, NASA says it plans to jump start the “next phase” of tests.

Date: 2021-05-01
Twitter: @NPR
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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to Begin New Demonstration Phase

Publisher: NASA
Date: 2021-04-30T12:40-04:00
Twitter: @NASA
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NASA’s Mars Helicopter Flies Again and Gets a New Mission

The small flying robot made history a week and a half ago as the first powered aircraft to take off on another world. On Friday, its fourth flight went farther and faster than ever before.

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‘It’s like Ingenuity is graduating from the tech demo phase,’ MiMi Aung, the project manager of Ingenuity, said during a news conference on Friday.

Ingenuity ‘ just 1.6 feet tall, 4 pounds in weight ‘ is an $85 million add-on to Perseverance, NASA’s latest $2.7 billion rover, which landed on Mars in February. The helicopter is the first to fly like an airplane or a helicopter on another world.

Date: 2021-04-30T20:16:58.000Z
Twitter: @nytimes
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Mars Ingenuity helicopter chalks up record flight as NASA extends its mission

“Ingenuity successfully completed its fourth flight today, and we couldn’t be happier,” project manager MiMi Aung said in an on-line status report. “We have lots of data to analyze. Ingenuity’s performance on Mars has been letter-perfect. This is an amazing time for our entire team!”

Data from the helicopter, relayed back to Earth via the Perseverance rover and one of NASA’s Mars orbiters, confirmed the 4-pound helicopter took off from “Wright Brothers Field” in Jezero Crater around 10:49 a.m. EDT (12:33 p.m. local time on Mars).

It then climbed to an altitude of 16 feet, tilted toward the south and flew some 436 feet out and back again before settling to a touchdown one minute and 57 seconds after liftoff.

Twitter: @CBSNews
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NASA extends Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s high-flying mission on Red Planet

NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity will keep flying for an additional 30 days (at least), on an extended mission that will test the chopper’s ability to be a “scout,” the agency announced today (April 30).’

Ingenuity was originally slated to operate for’ 30 days on Mars, conducting a technology-demonstrating mission designed to test whether or not powered, controlled flight is possible on Mars. However, with the success of its first three flights, NASA has decided to extend the helicopter mission an additional 30 sols and shift it into an “operations demonstration phase” that will test additional capabilities of the craft. (One sol, or Mars day, is about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day.)’

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Greetings Earthlings: Those crazy UFOs again! The data presented above may one day be zapped to another dimension. Just thought you should be aware. Dude, there was a blue light over there just now.