The Ingenuity helicopter made its third test flight on Mars, during which it reached a record speed of about seven kilometers per hour and flew a record distance, NASA said.
On Thursday, the agency reported that the helicopter made a second test flight.
During the next test on Sunday, the helicopter took off at the height of five meters, the same as during the second flight. At the same time, the device was able to cover a distance of about 50 meters (164 feet), which is equivalent to “almost half the length of a football field,” and reached a maximum speed of two meters per second (about seven kilometers per hour).
“The NASA Ingenuity helicopter continues to set records; on Sunday, April 25, 2021, it flew faster and farther than during any other test flights it has taken on Earth,” NASA said.
The agency’s website contains new photos taken during this flight. The first one shows a helicopter flying over the surface of Mars on Sunday. The second image, already in black and white, was taken by the device itself – it shows the shadow of Ingenuity on the surface of Mars. Ingenuity made its first test flight on April 19, climbing three meters for 30 seconds. NASA has declared the test, which was the first flight of an automated vehicle with a power plant on another planet, a success. It was reported that over the coming weeks, Ingenuity would conduct some more test flights to high altitude.