Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover has been busy serving as a communications base station for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter and documenting the rotorcraft’s historic flights. But the rover has also been busy focusing its science instruments on rocks that lay on the floor of Jezero Crater.
What insights they turn up will help scientists create a timeline of when an ancient lake formed there, when it dried, and when sediment began piling up in the delta that formed in the crater long ago. Understanding this timeline should help date rock samples – to be collected later in the mission – that might preserve a record of ancient microbes.
Washington, D.C. – For the first time, a spacecraft on another planet has recorded the sounds of a separate spacecraft. NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover used one of its two microphones to listen as the Ingenuity helicopter flew for the fourth time on April 30th, 2021.
A new video combines footage of the solar-powered helicopter taken by Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z imager with audio from a microphone belonging to the rover’s SuperCam laser instrument.
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter completed its fifth flight on the Red Planet with its first one-way journey from Wright Brothers Field to an airfield 423 feet (129 meters) to the south. After arrival above its new airfield, Ingenuity climbed to an altitude record of 33 feet (10 meters) and captured high-resolution color images of its new neighborhood before touching down.
The flight represents the rotorcraft’s transition to its new operations demonstration phase. This phase will focus on investigating what kind of capabilities a rotorcraft operating from Mars can provide.
Washington, D.C. – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has a new mission. Having proven that powered, controlled flight is possible on the Red Planet, the Ingenuity experiment will soon embark on a new operations demonstration phase, exploring how aerial scouting and other functions could benefit future exploration of Mars and other worlds.
This new phase will begin after the helicopter completes its next two flights. The decision to add an operations demonstration is a result of the Perseverance rover being ahead of schedule with the thorough checkout of all vehicle systems since its February 18th landing, and its science team choosing a nearby patch of crater bed for its first detailed explorations.
Washington, D.C. – Now that NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has accomplished the goal of achieving powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on the Red Planet, and with data from its most recent flight test, on Sunday, April 25th, 2021 the technology demonstration project has met or surpassed all of its technical objectives.
The Ingenuity team now will push its performance envelope on Mars.
The fourth Ingenuity flight from Wright Brothers Field, the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place, is scheduled to take off Thursday, April 29th, at 10:12am CDT (7:12am PDT, 12:30pm local Mars time), with the first data expected back at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 1:21pm CDT (10:21am PDT).
Pasadena, CA – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter continues to set records, flying faster and farther on Sunday, April 25th, 2021 than in any tests it went through on Earth. The helicopter took off at 3:31am CDT (1:31am PDT) , or 12:33pm local Mars time, rising 16 feet (5 meters) – the same altitude as its second flight.
Then it zipped downrange 164 feet (50 meters), just over half the length of a football field, reaching a top speed of 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second).
Washington, D.C. – The growing list of “firsts” for Perseverance, NASA’s newest six-wheeled robot on the Martian surface, includes converting some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into oxygen.
A toaster-size, experimental instrument aboard the NASA Mars Perseverance rover called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) accomplished the task. The test took place April 20th, the 60th Martian day, or sol, since the mission landed February 18th.
Washington, D.C. – On Monday, April 19th, 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.
The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 5:46am CDT (3:46am PDT).
“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.
Washington, D.C. – NASA is getting ready to send astronauts to explore more of the Moon as part of the Artemis program, and the agency has selected SpaceX to continue the development of the first commercial human lander that will safely carry the next two American astronauts to the lunar surface.
At least one of those astronauts will make history as the first woman on the Moon.
Another goal of the Artemis program includes landing the first person of color on the lunar surface.
Washington, D.C. – NASA is targeting no earlier than Monday, April 19th, 2021 for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at approximately 2:30am CDT (12:30am PDT).
Data from the first flight will return to Earth a few hours following the autonomous flight. A livestream will begin at 5:15am CDT (3:15am PDT) as the helicopter team prepares to receive the data downlink in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
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