NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands at new airfield after 5th flight

a close up of a desert field with a mountain in the background: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s fifth flight was captured on May 7, 2021, by one of the navigation cameras aboard the agency’s Perseverance rover. This was the first time Ingenuity flew to a new landing site. © Provided by Space NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s fifth flight was captured on May 7, 2021, by one of the navigation cameras aboard the agency’s Perseverance rover. This was the first time Ingenuity flew to a new landing site.

NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter is now exploring a new airfield on the Red Planet.

Ingenuity made its fifth Martian flight today (May 7), lifting off from the floor of Jezero Crater at 3:26 p.m. EDT (1926 GMT). The 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) chopper climbed to an altitude of 16.5 feet (5 meters) and cruised south for 423 feet (129 m), following the same path it took last week on flight number four, NASA officials said.

But unlike that April 30 jaunt and the three others that preceded it, today's trip was one-way. After reaching its destination, Ingenuity climbed to 33 feet (10 m) — twice as high in the Martian sky as it had ever gotten — snapped some photos and then landed in a new place, wrapping up a 108-second flight and embarking on a new journey of exploration.

Video: See the view on Mars from Ingenuity helicopter's fourth flight

"We bid adieu to our first Martian home, Wright Brothers Field, with grateful thanks for the support it provided to the historic first flights of a planetary rotorcraft," Bob Balaram, Ingenuity chief engineer at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, said in a statement today

"No matter where we go from here, we will always carry with us a reminder of how much those two bicycle builders from Dayton meant to us during our pursuit of the first flight on another world," Balaram said.

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NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands at new airfield after 5th flight