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Tech January 26, 2024

NASA announces end of history-making Mars helicopter mission

NASA announced that its miniature robot helicopter, Ingenuity, which achieved powered flight on Mars in 2021, has concluded its mission. The helicopter made an emergency landing during its second-to-last flight, and during its final flight on January 18, it lost contact with the Perseverance rover, from which it was deployed. Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory restored contact the next day and discovered damage to one of its rotor blades. It is suspected that the blade may have struck the ground. Despite the unexpected challenges, Ingenuity’s mission lasted nearly three years, involving 72 flights and covering a distance 14 times farther than originally planned. The helicopter played a crucial role in scouting locations for Perseverance with its onboard camera. Engineers will run final tests on Ingenuity and download remaining images from its onboard computer. Perseverance is currently too far away to photograph Ingenuity’s final resting site.

Source – CGTN

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