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Saturday, May 18, 2024

NASA’s little helicopter on Mars has logged its final flight Categorical Instances

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NASA’s little Mars helicopter has flown its final flight.

The area company introduced Thursday that the four-pound (1.8-kilogram) chopper named Ingenuity can not fly due to rotor blade injury. Whereas it stays upright and involved with flight controllers, its $85 million mission is formally over, officers stated.

Initially supposed as a short-term tech demo, Ingenuity logged 72 flights over three years at Mars. It accrued greater than two hours of flight time, touring 11 miles (18 kilometres). That is greater than 14 occasions farther than deliberate, in line with NASA. It soared as excessive as 79 toes (24 metres) and hit speeds of as much as 22.4 m.p.h. (36 km/h).

“Whereas we knew this present day was inevitable, it does not make it any simpler” to announce the tip of the mission, stated NASA’s Lori Glaze. “It is nearly an understatement to say that it has surpassed expectations.”

Ingenuity hitched a experience on NASA’s Perseverance rover, touchdown on Mars in 2021. It ended up serving as a scout for the rover and proved powered flight was potential within the skinny Martian environment.

Photographs beamed again this week from its final flight confirmed that a number of of its rotor blades suffered injury whereas touchdown and should have hit the floor. The blades are not usable, in line with NASA.

The helicopter ascended to 40 toes (12 metres) on its closing flight final week, hovering for just a few seconds earlier than descending. It mysteriously misplaced contact with the close by rover — its communication relay — whereas nonetheless three toes (one metre) off the bottom. As soon as communication was restored, the injury was confirmed. The explanation for the lack of communication is below investigation.

Ingenuity’s success prompted NASA in 2022 so as to add two mini helicopters to a future Mars mission.


The Related Press Well being and Science Division receives help from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Science and Academic Media Group. The AP is solely answerable for all content material.

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