NASA has just released a video showing Ingenuity’s 59th flight on Mars, but from two different views. The helicopter achieved its second highest altitude of 66 feet while taking pictures of this 142-second flight that took place on September 16, 2023.
What you’re seeing in this side-by-side video is one perspective from Perseverance on the left, which was captured by the rover’s Mastcam-Z imager from about 180 feet (55 meters) away, while the right side has Ingenuity’s images taken by its Navigation Camera (Navcam). Flight 59 saw Ingenuity hovering at different altitudes to check Martian wind patterns.
Our next-generation Mars helicopter testing has literally had the best of both worlds. Here on Earth, you have all the instrumentation and hands-on immediacy you could hope for while testing new aircraft components. On Mars, you have the real off-world conditions you could never truly re-create here on Earth.” That includes a whisper-thin atmosphere and significantly less gravity than on Earth,” said Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity’s project manager and manager for the Mars Sample Recovery Helicopters.