NASA's Mars Helicopter Makes Second Flight
Friday April 23, 2021. 09:00 AM , from Slashdot
NASA successfully carried out a second flight on Mars on Thursday of its mini helicopter Ingenuity, a 52-second sortie that saw it climb to a height of 16 feet. Phys.Org reports: 'So far, the engineering telemetry we have received and analyzed tell us that the flight met expectations,' said Bob Balaram, Ingenuity's chief engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in southern California. 'We have two flights of Mars under our belts, which means that there is still a lot to learn during this month of Ingenuity,' Balaram said in a statement. The US space agency conducted the first flight of the four pound (1.8 kilogram) rotorcraft on Monday, the first powered flight ever on another planet. That time Ingenuity rose to a height of 10 feet and then touched down after 39.1 seconds.
For the second flight, which lasted 51.9 seconds, Ingenuity climbed to 16 feet, hovered briefly, tilted and then accelerated sideways for seven feet. 'The helicopter came to a stop, hovered in place, and made turns to point its camera in different directions,' said Havard Grip, Ingenuity's chief pilot. 'Then it headed back to the center of the airfield to land. 'It sounds simple, but there are many unknowns regarding how to fly a helicopter on Mars.'
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