This story is part of , our series exploring the red planet.
The rotorcraft is ready to attempt its very first one-way flight on Friday. So far, the helicopter has acted like a homing pigeon by continually returning to the same Martian roost.new theme song should be Blondie’s One Way or Another. The Mars
NASA is targeting 12:36 p.m. PT on May 7 for the chopper’s fifth flight. It takes several hours for the data to return to Earth and let the team know if the flight was successful.
There are other ambitious goals for this flight besides the landing location. Ingenuity is scheduled to fly to 16 feet (5 meters) above the surface and then travel south 423 feet (129 meters). Once it hits that mark, it will aim for a height record of 33 feet in order to snap some images of the terrain. It will then land after about 110 seconds of flight time.
The Ingenuity team used the NASA described in a statement as “flat as a pancake.” The space agency doesn’t want its experimental machine to touch down on rocks that might tilt it.to scout out the new landing spot, which
Ingenuity has been a star on Mars. It has completed a series of increasingly ambitious flights and will enter a new demonstration phase if the next flight succeeds. The helicopter team will focus on showing how it can be used to survey the landscape and assist thein its own science mission.
NASA seems to be marveling at the helicopter’s exploits. Ingenuity’s mechanical engineering lead Josh Ravich wrote in an update: “Our helicopter is even more robust than we had hoped.”
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