Perseverance Rover

Perseverance Watches Carefully as Ingenuity Lifts Off for its 47th Flight

In some of the best footage yet, the Perseverance rover has taken new video of the Ingenuity helicopter taking off and flying over Mars’ surface.

This video shows the dust initially kicked up by the helicopter’s spinning rotors, as well as Ingenuity taking off, hovering, and beginning its 440-meter (1,444-foot) journey to the southwest. The video was captured on March 9, 2023. At the time the video was taken, the rover was about 120 meters (394 feet) from the helicopter.

This video was captured by the Mastcam-Z imager aboard NASA’s Perseverance rover on March 9, 2023. At the time the video was taken, the rover was about 394 feet (120 meters) from the helicopter. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Although they’re operated separately, NASA keeps the two robots close together so they can work together, with Ingenuity scouting ahead for potential hazards and areas of interest for Perseverance. For this flight, Ingenuity reached an altitude of 12 meters, repositioning itself for an upcoming flight, and capturing images of science targets along its path.

This is the 47th flight of the tiny rotorcraft. It later landed successfully and off camera at what’s been dubbed Airfield Iota.

Originally, the helicopter was intended to perform a 30-day technology demonstration, making five flights at altitudes ranging 3–5 m (10–16 ft) for up to 90 seconds each. Now, it’s made nearly 50 flights, regularly traveling well over hundreds of meters/feet.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is seen here at the starting point of its 47th flight on Mars. Credit:
NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Together, Perseverance and Ingenuity are conducting a several month exploration of an area called Delta Top,” a region that may have had a life-friendly river delta and lake billions of years ago.

You can see the original images and videos at JPL’s Photojournal website.

Nancy Atkinson

Nancy has been with Universe Today since 2004, and has published over 6,000 articles on space exploration, astronomy, science and technology. She is the author of two books: "Eight Years to the Moon: the History of the Apollo Missions," (2019) which shares the stories of 60 engineers and scientists who worked behind the scenes to make landing on the Moon possible; and "Incredible Stories from Space: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Missions Changing Our View of the Cosmos" (2016) tells the stories of those who work on NASA's robotic missions to explore the Solar System and beyond. Follow Nancy on Twitter at https://twitter.com/Nancy_A and and Instagram at and https://www.instagram.com/nancyatkinson_ut/

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