Ingenuity, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's (NASA) Mars helicopter has completed its 13th flight.
Ingenuity's previous flight, its 12th, was successfully completed last month. Both flights took place on the South Seitah region of Mars.
Initially meant to go on just four flights, the mission of Ingenuity was extended by NASA after a series of successful flights. Its aerial scouting of the planet continues to help the Perseverance rover's next moves.
The Mars helicopter and the Perseverance rover celebrated the first anniversary of their launch to space back in July.
Ingenuity Completes Its 13th Flight
Ingenuity, NASA's Mars helicopter, has successfully completed its 13th flight two months after it marked its first anniversary since launch.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted "Happy Flight the 13th!" in celebration of Ingenuity's latest milestone.
According to a report by Space, the Ingenuity helicopter flew at a speed of 7.3 mph, which was slower than its speed during the 12th flight. The Ingenuity was able to capture images of the southwest area of Mars' South Seitah region.
The Ingenuity also flew at a lower altitude, flying just 26 feet above the surface. The Mars helicopter captured images pointing southwest in the region, which differed from the northeast orientation of the images taken during its 12th flight.
The Mars helicopter's 13th flight was also the second time that it flew around the planet's South Seitah region.
Ingenuity's 12th Flight
Ingenuity's previous flight, its 12th, was its longest flight to date and also took place in the South Seitah region. The Mars helicopter flew at an altitude of almost 33 feet above the surface.
"On Flight 12 we covered 1,476 feet (450 meters) of Martian ground in 169.5 seconds and took 10 pictures (again - all pointed northeast)," according to Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Team Lead at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The Ingenuity helicopter was able to have a glimpse of an area of outcrops in the region, which it scouted even further during its successful 13th flight.
Related Article: NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter Completes 12th Flight on Mars
The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter
The Ingenuity helicopter and the Perseverance rover are both parts of NASA's Mars 2020 Exploration Program. Both Mars-bound spacecraft were launched from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida on July 20, 2020.
Ingenuity weighs 4 lbs, and its height is 19 cm.
The Mars helicopter, which has been nicknamed "Ginny" by scientists, arrived on Mars "tucked inside" its rover companion on February 18, according to the report by Space.
NASA initially intended only three or four flights for the Ingenuity, but the success of its initial flights prompted scientists to extend the helicopter's mission on Mars. The Mars helicopter's first successful flight took place last April.
According to the tweet by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory celebrating the helicopter's 13th flight, the Ingenuity's aerial scouting continues to aid in planning" the moves of the Perseverance rover.
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Written by Isabella James