Helicopter drone will make its thirteenth flight on Mars

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Helicopter drone will make its thirteenth flight on Mars

NASA illustration of the Ingenuity helicopter and the Perseverance rover

Moscow. 4 September. INTERFAX.RU – The Ingenuity drone helicopter, which arrived on Mars with the Perseverance rover, is preparing to make its 13th autonomous flight on the Red Planet, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported.

The flight is scheduled to begin on Saturday at 17:08 US West Coast time ( Sunday at 03:08 Moscow time ). It will be carried out over the South Seita area in the Jezero crater.

In the same place, in mid-August, the previous research flight of the Martian helicopter was carried out. The aim is to obtain new photographs of a geologically interesting area but from a lower elevation.

“We will be flying at a lower altitude – 8 meters compared to 10 meters during the 12th flight,” the message says.

The pictures will be taken in a different direction than before to plan the route of the rover.

The flight range will be 210 meters compared to 450 meters during the 12th flight. The speed will also be reduced from 4.3 to 3.3 meters per second compared to the previous mission. The duration will be 161 seconds. 10 photographs of the terrain will be taken, which will be transmitted to the rover, and then relayed to Earth.

During its entire stay on the Red Planet, the helicopter, having already made 12 flights, flew a total of 2.67 km, being in total above the surface of Mars for almost 22 minutes. The 9th flight was the longest, then it flew 625 meters.

During the first flight on Mars on April 19, the helicopter rose to a height of only three meters and spent 39 seconds above the surface of Mars.

Ingenuity is 1.2 meters in diameter and weighs 1.8 kg, equipped with two cameras, capable of hovering in the air for 20-30 seconds to photograph the area.

The Perseverance rover with the Ingenuity helicopter successfully landed on the surface of the Red Planet on 18 February.

The American automatic interplanetary station to Mars was launched on July 30 last year.

Perseverance is the fifth American rover that NASA has sent to study the Red Planet.

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