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The New York Times 28 April, 2021 - 01:45pm 42 views

Does Mars have oxygen?

On Mars, 0.13 percent of the atmosphere is oxygen. On Earth, it's 21 percent. "On Mars we don't see anything more than a tiny whiff of oxygen and that's largely from water molecules breaking apart in the atmosphere." ... MashableHow NASA's Perseverance is making oxygen on Mars

The first craft to fly on another world hit a jogging pace for the first time on Sunday, its fastest speed yet.

In its third flight on Mars, NASA's tiny helicopter, dubbed Ingenuity, flew about the length of a football field and hit a top speed of around 4.5 miles per hour (2 meters per second), which is roughly the average pace at which humans jog.

In the above video, taken by the Perseverance rover's MastCam-Z camera, the cosmically cute chopper can be seen lifting off the Martian surface to a height of 16 feet (5 meters) and then flying to the right and out of frame for a while before returning into view and landing near the same spot.

While commercial drones and other similar craft obviously fly faster all the time, Ingenuity's record shows it holds up even when pushed to go beyond the speeds achieved during its testing on Earth.

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"Today's flight was what we planned for, and yet it was nothing short of amazing," said Dave Lavery, the NASA program executive for Ingenuity, in a statement. "With this flight, we are demonstrating critical capabilities that will enable the addition of an aerial dimension to future Mars missions."

The flight took place at 1:31 a.m. PT Sunday (12:33 p.m. local Mars time) and saw Ingenuity fly a total of 328 feet (100 meters). The data from the flight actually began arriving back at mission control in California at 7:16 a.m. PT, including new images from Ingenuity's color camera and black-and-white navigation camera.

An image taken from Ingenuity during its third flight. The helicopter's shadow is visible near the bottom.

NASA says that the data collected from Ingenuity's latest boundary-pushing flight will inform both the helicopter's upcoming flights and the design of bigger rotorcraft that may fly on Mars in the future.

The Ingenuity team says a fourth flight is planned for later this week.

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Read full article at The New York Times

NASA helicopter makes 3rd Mars flight

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NASA Releases First-Ever Aerial Color Images of Mars

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Gizmodo reported on the aerial color images, which come following multiple test flights of Ingenuity. Piggybacked on NASA’s Perseverance rover, engineers sent Ingenuity to Mars as an aerial test vehicle. And so far the helicopter’s had no trouble hovering around in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere.

At top is the first-ever aerial color image of Mars, followed by the second and third (in order). NASA says Ingenuity snapped all three pictures during its successful second test flight, which took place on April 22. As of this writing, the little copter has completed three successful flights; recharging itself each time with onboard solar cells.

Taken from about 17 feet above the Martian surface, the pictures show Perseverance‘s tracks across a light-brown regolith pockmarked with gray-blue rocks. The six-wheeled rover left the tracks as it rolled along the planet’s Jezero crater; the site where Perseverance landed on February 18. Along with the tracks, two of Ingenuity‘s four landing pads are also visible—on the edges of either side of the picture.

The post NASA Releases First-Ever Aerial Color Images of Mars appeared first on Nerdist.

The Ingenuity helicopter captured color photos of the Martian surface on its second flight.

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