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Ingenuity Copter Makes Longest Flight Yet

2,315-Foot Hop Breaks Records for Mars Helo

Flight number 69 broke all previous records for the NASA Mars Helicopter program, soaring above Airfield Chi for 2,315 feet.

While in flight, Ingenuity got about 52 feet above the Martian terrain, with an average groundspeed of 22.4 mph. The Short flight took 135.4 seconds in all, adding another journey to its logbook on the precipice of hitting flight number 70. Ingenuity has been given a pretty steady series of goals, with each flight rounding out to about 700 meters. In mission 68, the little helo that could made it 2,304 feet in one hop, a goal that held true for mission 68, too.

That mission was scheduled for December 22nd, but results of the flight don't seem to be published yet. The overflights of the Jezero landscape have continued to pay dividends to Ingenuity's sibling, the Perseverance rover. Photographs of the terrain have allowed the JPL team to plot the most optimal course for the rover, saving time and minimizing risk - after all, if Perseverance gets stuck, they can't just send someone out with a shovel to help get it out again.

Mission 70 will aim for almost 130 seconds of flight time, at 6.5 mph, around 40 feet AGL, which will net about half the distance of the last record breaker at 849 feet.



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