Lucky 13? Mars Ingenuity helicopter will descend lower for more detailed footage on next flight – .

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Lucky 13? Mars Ingenuity helicopter will descend lower for more detailed footage on next flight – .


Animation of NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter from above. Credit: NASA / JPL-Caltech

“The more you look back, the more you can look to the future. – Winston Churchill

After the reconnaissance footage of “South Séítah” Flight 12, which was the most valuable Ingenuity has taken to date, we follow Winston’s advice for Ingenuity’s 13e flight. We’ll venture into Seítah again to explore an area of ​​outcrops we saw in footage from Flight 12 – but we’re taking these new photos while looking back, pointing in the opposite direction.

No earlier than Saturday, September 4 at 5:08 p.m. PDT, or 12:04 p.m. LMST (local Mars time), the 193rd sol (Martian day) of the Perseverance mission, the flight will once again travel to the geologically intriguing region of South Séítah. However, instead of probing further into Séítah and taking photos of multiple ridge lines and outcrops (which we did on 12), we’ll focus on one particular ridge line and its outcrops during Flight 13. We will also be flying at a lower altitude. – 26 feet (8 meters), against 33 feet (10 meters) for 12.

This image of sand dunes, boulders and rock outcrops in the “South Séítah” region of the Jezero de Mars crater was captured by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter during its 12th flight, August 16, 2021. Credits : NASA / JPL-Caltech

Another big difference is the direction in which our camera will be pointed. For Flight 13, we will be capturing images pointing southwest. And when combined with the northeast outlook from Flight 12, the overlapping images at a lower elevation should provide valuable information to Perseverance scientists and rover driving planners.

When you compare our estimated flight time and the distance traveled for this trip, it once again reinforces how much we are focusing our efforts on a small area. On Flight 12, we covered 1,476 feet (450 meters) of Martian soil in 169.5 seconds and took 10 photos (again – all pointing northeast). On the 13th, we will cover approximately 690 feet (210 meters) in approximately 161 seconds and take 10 photos (pointing southwest)…

And for those of you scoring at home on the 13th, we’ll also be cruising at 7.3 mph (3.3 meters per second). We did 10 mph (4.3 meters per second) for 12.

While we are talking about numbers, in our last blog Chief Pilot Håvard talked about our logbook (the nominal pilot logbook for planets and moons). Below is an updated log of some of the most important figures for Ingenuity flights to Mars so far. In addition to those listed below, we took 72 13-megapixel color images and 1390 black-and-white navigation camera images. We look forward to adding to those numbers and learning more about that ridge line when “Lucky 13” is in the books.

Since deployment
(April 3, 2021 / sol 43)
In the technical demo In the operations demo % above technical demo
Soils affected 141 31 111 358%
Num. Do you want 12 5 7 140%
Distance traveled (m) 2,671 m (~ 1.44 miles) 499 meters 2,172 meters 435%
Flight time (s) 1308 s (21 min 48 s) 396 s 912 s 230 %

Written by Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Team Leader at NasaJet propulsion laboratory

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