NASA’s Ingenuity successfully completed its fourth and longest flight today. It took off at approximately 10:49 a.m. EDT and climbed to an altitude of 16-feet before flying south around 436-feet before turning back for an 872-foot round trip. In all, the helicopter was in the air for 117 seconds, setting yet another record. Multiple images were captured during the flight with the color camera and with Ingenuity’s black-and-white navigation camera, which is used to track surface features as it flies. Read more for a video of the images and additional information.
However, navigation camera images are normally used by Ingenuity’s flight controller and then disposed of unless specific instructions are given to the helicopter to store them for later use. In the end, Ingenuity captured a total of 60 images during the last 164-feet before the helicopter returned to its landing site.
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The Ingenuity technology demonstration has been a resounding success. Since Ingenuity remains in excellent health, we plan to use it to benefit future aerial platforms while prioritizing and moving forward with the Perseverance rover team’s near-term science goals,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.