NASA’s Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, has set new records for its longest and fastest flight to date, according to an announcement from the agency on Friday. During its 25th flight, which lasted 161.3 seconds, the rotorcraft covered a distance of 2,310 feet (704 meters) at a speed of 12 MPH (5.5 meters per second) after climbing to an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters). As shown in the video below, Ingenuity’s navigation camera recorded and transmitted footage of the flight.
“For our record-breaking flight, Ingenuity’s downward-looking navigation camera provided us with a breathtaking sense of what it would feel like gliding 33 feet above the surface of Mars at 12 miles per hour,” said Ingenuity team lead Teddy Tzanetos.
Ingenuity, recognized as the first powered aircraft to operate from the surface of another planet, flew for the first time in April 2021 and is currently preparing for its 29th flight. As previously reported by AVweb, NASA announced in March that it was extending Ingenuity flight operations through September to support the Perseverance rover’s exploration of Mars’ Jezero Crater. The Ingenuity team was awarded the 2021 Robert J. Collier trophy by the National Aeronautic Association last month.