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On Mars, NASA's Ingenuity chopper breaks two records for flying

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Photo Credit: The Indian Express Ingenuity, the NASA Mars helicopter, just completed a trip that established two new records. On April 2, Ingenuity launched into Martian space and quickly surpassed its previous record of 6 meters per second (13 mph) by traveling at a record-breaking 6.5 meters per second (15 mph). Also, the chopper broke its previous record of 46 feet (14 meters) set in December by ascending to a height of 52.5 feet (16 meters). The feat is another evidence of the incredible labor that went into building the 4-pound, 19-inch-tall aircraft, which has already finished 49 flights on the red planet. The primary goal of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which houses the mission management team, was to determine whether Ingenuity was capable of powered, controlled flight in an atmosphere that was significantly thinner than Earth's when it arrived at Mars in February 2021 with the Perseverance rover. Your Once-a-Year Chance to Go Inside NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab Is Here Los Angeles Magazine Photo Credit: Los Angeles Magazine The Ingenuity team gained confidence and sent Ingenuity on longer, higher, and faster flights across the rocky surface of Mars after making history with its first flight in April 2021. All of the aircraft's missions are self-piloted by onboard guidance, navigation, and control systems that use JPL team-developed algorithms. The wheel-based rover Ingenuity worked so well that JPL began to utilize its downward-facing camera to gather information to aid the Perseverance team in determining the safest and most effective routes as it moved between sites of interest in search of signs of ancient microbial life. Yet Ingenuity hasn't had an easy ride; during the past few years, JPL engineers have had to work out a number of technical problems that have affected the flying machine. Also Read: NASA’s resourceful Mars helicopter aims for another flight milestone The helicopter has surpassed NASA's expectations and is now nearing its 50th flight, which is scheduled for Wednesday. This means that in the years to come, Ingenuity will likely be replaced by more sophisticated models.

By Prelo Con

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