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.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter successfully completed its third and longest flight yet on Sunday, April 25, 2021. It took off at 1:31 a.m. EDT or 12:33 p.m. local Mars time and reached 16-feet before zipping downrange 164-feet at a top speed of 6.6 feet per second. The team used the Mastcam-Z imager on NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover to capture video of Ingenuity and in the next few days, we’ll be able to see the entire 80-second journey across its flight zone. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s six-wheeled Perseverance successfully converted some of the Red Planet’s thin, carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere into pure oxygen. This toaster-sized instrument, called the Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE), completed the task on April 20, the 60th Martian day since it landed on Feb. 18. The goal is to eventually isolate and store oxygen on Mars to help power rockets that could lift astronauts off the planet’s surface. Read more for a video about the device and additional information.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet earlier today. This tiny solar-powered helicopter lifted off at 3:34 a.m. EDT (12:34 a.m. PDT) when the Ingenuity team determined that it would have optimal energy and flight conditions. It achieved a maximum altitude of 10-feet and maintained a stable hover for 30 seconds before descending and touching back down on the surface of Mars after logging a total of 39.1 seconds of flight. Read more for the video and additional information.
Ingenuity is set to make its first flight this weekend, but NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took a selfie with the tiny helicopter before the big event. You can see it here about 13 feet from the rover in this image taken April 6, 2021, the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission by the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument, located at the end of the rover’s long robotic arm. Read more for a video of the helicopter’s blades spinning and additional information.
Have you come across a photo of Mars with spider-like objects? Well, these are not the creepy crawlies you find around your home, but are caused by a phenomenon known as sublimation. That’s right, planetary scientists recreated a machine capable of simulating the Martian atmosphere and discovered that once solid ice came in contact with the warmer sediment of the surface, some of it instantly changed from a solid into gas, resulting in spider-like cracks. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter was successfully dropped 4-inches from the belly of the Perseverance rover, and this image was captured by the WATSON (Wide Angle Topographic Sensor for Operations and eNgineering) camera on the SHERLOC (Scanning Habitable Environments with Raman and Luminescence for Organics and Chemicals) instrument, located at the end of the rover’s long robotic arm. Its first official flight should take place in about a week. Read more for a video and additional information.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover has just dropped the Ingenuity helicopter ahead of its first flight, but before doing so, it spotted a strange green rock while out exploring. The team is still trying to figure out if it’ something weathered out of the local bedrock or a piece of Mars plopped into the area from a far-flung impact event. For the record, it measures around 6 inches long, and if you look close enough, the row of laser marks where it was zapped becomes clear. Read more to see the laser area circled and for additional information.
NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover may have been in service since 2011, but it’s still exploring and just transmitted a selfie with Mont Mercou in the background. At the beginning of this month, the rover approached a large rock formation that scientists dubbed “Mont Mercou” that stands around 20 feet tall. It managed to capture the outcrop in a new selfie, as well as in a pair of panoramas that provide a 3D view. Read more for a video and additional information.
Photo credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA’s Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) is basically an experimental instrument that stands apart from Perseverance’s primary science. How does it work? Well, this golden cube pulls in the Martian air with a pump and then uses an electrochemical process to separate one oxygen atom from each molecule of carbon dioxide, or CO2, leaving carbon monoxide, or CO, as a byproduct. Read more for two videos and additional information.