You’ve heard of helicopters on Earth, but have you heard of them in space? NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter, which is on Mars, has completed it’s 69th trip above the surface of Mars.
The helicopter made its first arrival on Mars in February 2012, and since then, it’s spent 125.5 minutes flying above Mars. Out of these flights, Ingenuity has flown 10.5 miles across the surface, with altitudes as high as 80 feet. When it was first launched, NASA never thought any of this was possible. Originally, they expected the aircraft to only last for 5 flights.
During these flights, the Ingenuity craft also takes photos, as you can see above. These photos are sent back to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory ( JPL ), where they are used for research purposes.
Now that NASA knows the craft is capable of much more, they are already planning much more – Flight 70 is planned for no earlier than December 22nd.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech