NASA successfully completes second, more challenging Mars helicopter flight

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Thursday, April 22, 2021
Mars helicopter successfully completes historic first flight
The Ingenuity helicopter has successfully completed its historic flight on Mars and safely landed back on the surface, according to NASA.

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity made history again Thursday with another epic Red Planet flight.

This time, controllers on Earth completed a more challenging flight by climbing to 16 feet and tilting 5 degrees.

NASA JPL posted a black and white photo taken by the helicopter on Twitter.

Ingenuity first arrived on Mars with NASA's Perseverance rover in February and made history earlier this week with the first ever powered flight on another world.

Ingenuity flew for about 40 seconds total on Monday. The 4-pound helicopter spun up its two 4-foot blades, rose up 10 feet (3 meters) in the air, hovered, took a photo and touched back down on Mars.

READ MORE: Mars helicopter Ingenuity successfully completed its historic first flight

"From day one of this project, our team has had to overcome a wide array of seemingly insurmountable technical challenges," said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL. "We got this far with a never-say-die attitude, a lot of friends from many different technical disciplines, and an agency that likes to turn far-out ideas into reality."

After the first flight, Ingenuity had a "rest day" to charge up by using its solar panel.

The cadence between flights will get progressively shorter. The latter flights could see the helicopter rising as high as 16 feet (5 meters) and performing lateral movements up to 50 feet (15 meters) out and back.

"Once we get to the fourth and fifth flights, we'll have fun," Aung said. "We really want to push the limits. It's not every day that you get to test a rotorcraft on Mars. So we want to be very adventurous."

The video above is from a previous report.