NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands at new airfield after 5th flight
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.
"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.
Excelsior! The #MarsHelicopter completed its 1st one-way trip and 5th flight on Mars. It touched down at its new location, kicking off a new demo phase where we test this new tech and see how it can aid future missions on Mars and other worlds. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/YwxIjupbQIMay 8, 2021