NASA’s Perseverance rover has just uploaded some amazing footage of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s 13th flight, providing the most detailed look yet of the rotorcraft in action. This 160.5-second flight was one of the most complex since it involved flying into varied terrain within the “Séítah” geological feature and taking images of an outcrop from multiple angles.
The footage you see here was captured by Perseverance’s two-camera Mastcam-Z, with one video clip depicting a majority of the rotorcraft’s flight profile, while the other offers a closeup of takeoff and landing. Once climbing to the planned maximum altitude of 26 feet, the helicopter performs a small pirouette to align its color camera for scouting.
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The value of Mastcam-Z really shines through with these video clips. Even at 300 meters [328 yards] away, we get a magnificent closeup of takeoff and landing through Mastcam-Z’s ‘right eye.’ And while the helicopter is little more than a speck in the wide view taken through the ‘left eye,’ it gives viewers a good feel for the size of the environment that Ingenuity is exploring,” said Justin Maki, deputy principal investigator for the Mastcam-Z instrument at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.