Martian helicopter Ingenuity made its third flight on the Red Planet. This time, a fairly significant horizontal movement above the surface was included in the flight program, and the helicopter successfully coped with the task, covering a total of 100 meters and developing a speed of about 2 m/s.
Ingenuity had its first-ever controlled flight on Mars on April 19, 2021, showing that uncrewed aerial vehicles are capable of autonomously flying in a rarefied atmosphere. On April 22, the helicopter carried out a second flight, this time slightly increasing the altitude, range, and duration of the flight, as well as taking photographs of the area from the air using a color camera.
Finally, the helicopter now made its third flight. It climbed 16 feet (5 meters), which is the same height as during its second flight. Then the helicopter flew 50 meters (just over half the length of a football field), reaching a top speed of 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second or 7 km/h).
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was created at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. It is more difficult for an aircraft to fly in the atmosphere of Mars since it is very rarefied. The rotational speed of the helicopter's propellers should be much higher than on Earth. In total, scientists want to conduct five missions, with every next mission being more ambitious than the previous one.