Video of Ingenuity Flying Over Mars
This video imagery was acquired by the navigation camera aboard NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 25th flight on April 8, 2022. Covering a distance of 2,310 feet (704 meters) and at a speed of 12 mph (5.5 meters per second), it was the Red Planet rotorcraft’s longest and fastest flight to date. The first frame of the clip shows the view about one second into the flight.
After reaching an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters), the helicopter heads southwest, accelerating to its 12 mph maximum speed in less than three seconds. Ingenuity first flies over a group of sand ripples then, about halfway through the video, several rock fields. Finally, relatively flat and featureless terrain appears below, making a good landing spot.
The video of the 161.3-second flight was sped up approximately five times. Ingenuity’s navigation camera has been programmed to deactivate whenever the rotorcraft is within 3 feet (1 meter) of the surface. This helps ensure any dust kicked up during takeoff and landing won’t interfere with the navigation system as it tracks features on the ground.
What is Ingenuity?
The Ingenuity helicopter is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars and will perform a series of flight tests over a period of 30 sol (Martian days). This Mars Helicopter, or rotorcraft, is 19.3-inch-tall (49-centimeter-tall), weighs 4-pounds (1.8 kg) and contains no science instruments inside its “tissue-box-size fuselage”. Its objective is to demonstrate whether future exploration of Mars could also include an aerial component. It travelled to Mars on board the Perseverance rover, which landed on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021.