NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter, Ingenuity , has now flown eight times on the Red Planet, traveling farther than scientists hoped would be possible. The little chopper made its most recent Mars sortie on Monday (June 21). During the flight, Ingenuity remained aloft for 77.4 seconds, flew 525 feet (160 meters), and landed about 440 feet (133.5 m) away from its companion, the Perseverance rover, according to a tweet from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which operates the helicopter. Ingenuity is a technology demonstration project that hitchhiked to Mars with NASA’s much larger Perseverance rover , which touched down on the Red Planet on Feb. 18. Before beginning its science work in earnest, Perseverance began its stay on Mars by testing the helicopter and another technology project that can turn carbon dioxide from the Red Planet’s thin atmosphere into oxygen. Related: Watch NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity fly in 3D (video) Monday’s flight came about two weeks after Ingenuity’s previous flight , on June 8. The success of the new flight marks a second flawless flight for the helicopter after a difficult sixth flight that tested the chopper’s resilience. Although Ingenuity was originally designed to fly only five times, its steady… Read full this story
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