NASA has revealed a new'motion filter' video of the history-making Ingenuity helicopter flying on Mars showing just where the dust travelled around the craft. While Ingenuity was sent to the Red Planet as a'technical demonstration' with no science mission of its own, NASA says it could help scientists better understand how dust travels through the atmosphere of the Red Planet. The video, shot by the Mastcam-Z camera on the Perseverance rover, reveals plumes of Martian dust made by Ingenuity upon takeoff and landing. After the successful flight on Monday April 19, NASA named the airfield that hosted the takeoff the'Wright Brothers Field' in honour of the aeroplane inventors. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) say they will now be pushing the 4lb helicopter'to the limit' in a series of future flights between now and early-May. While Ingenuity was sent to the Red Planet as a'technical demonstration' with no science mission of its own, NASA says this could help scientists better understand how dust travels through the atmosphere of the Red Planet The main purpose of Mastcam-Z, a camera mounted on a mast attached to Perseverance, is to take photos and video in high definition.
"For some years," wrote Wilbur Wright in 1900, "I have been afflicted with the belief that flight is possible to man. My disease has increased in severity and I feel that it will soon cost me an increased amount of money if not my life." That may be the most poetic thing Wilbur or his brother Orville ever said. But what the Wright brothers did three years later had a natural poetry to it: They flew. They borrowed the magic of birds.
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter will attempt to fly on Mars for the fourth time today and could reach airspeeds of up to eight miles per hour as it soars for two minutes. The space agency said it would continue to push the 4lb copter to its limit in each subsequent test, this time almost doubling the speed of the third flight. The 18 inch tall craft will take off from'Wright Brothers Field' under the watchful gaze of the Perseverance rover at 10:12 EDT (15:12 BST), and soar up 16ft into the sky. Due to delays in sending data from the 187 million miles between Jezero crater on Mars and NASA JPL in California, we won't know if it worked until 13:21 EDT (18:21 BST). The small craft achieved all of its goals including flight duration, distance and speed, in the first three trips - so the fourth will'push the envelope' beyond what the small rotorcraft was designed to achieve by NASA JPL engineers. It will fly up to 16ft, head south over rocks, sand ripples and impact craters for 276ft and use its navigation camera to collect images of the surface every 4ft.
As the Ingenuity helicopter prepares to make history by flying through Mars' atmosphere, the Perseverance rover snapped a selfie of the pair to commemorate one of their last moments together. NASA released the image Wednesday, which is a collection of 62 individual pictures taken by the rover as it looked down on the small copter that stood 13 feet away. Ingenuity is set to take its first flight April 11, which will see the copter take off, hover in place and then return for landing, and although the event will only last for 90 seconds it is a feat that determines the fate of the mission. This will be the first vehicle to fly on another planet, which NASA likens to the Wright Brothers moment on Earth. As the Ingenuity helicopter prepares to make history by flying through Mars' atmosphere, the Perseverance rover snapped a selfie of the pair to commemorate one of their last moments together Ingenuity made the 239 million-mile journey to Mars inside the belly of Perseverance until it was dropped to the dust Martian ground April 4. NASA announced the following day that the $85 million drone survived its first night outside of its travel companion, allowing the American space agency to move ahead with their flight plans.
NASA has shared a'bird's eye view' image of the Perseverance rover, taken by the Ingenuity helicopter as it soared above the Martian surface. In a tweet, the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team said: 'I spy with my little eye…a rover,' sharing the image with Perseverance visible in the top left corner. It was taken during the third flight of the autonomous copter that happened on April 25 and saw it fly to an altitude of 16ft and travel for 64ft before landing again. At the peak it was moving at 6.6ft per second, or 4.5 miles per hour. In contrast, the Perseverance rover, captured in the latest images, travels at 0.1 miles per hour. Ingenuity is a technical demonstration, with no science experiments on board, as it is designed to prove a flying vehicle could be used on the Red Planet.