"Ingenuity" before preparing for takeoff and in flight No. 47 hit the lenses of the Mastcam-Z cameras of the Perseverance rover.
March 9, 2023 "Ingenuity" performed flight number 47 at 440 meters. The helicopter landed in the southwest of the takeoff site on a new and twenty-eighth landing site for the entire time of its stay on Mars.
During this flight, Ingenuity took off to a height of 12 meters, made a lateral movement at a speed of 5.3 m / s, flew to the intended zone, stopped over the planned new landing site and landed. Flight #47 lasted almost 139 seconds. His goal was to change the position of the helicopter to keep up with the rover, as well as photograph objects for scientific research along the way.
The Perseverance rover spotted Ingenuity on March 8 and March 9 through its cameras. The rover was about 120 meters away from the helicopter when the photo and video were taken.
Photo of the helicopter from the camera of the Mastcam-Z Right rover.
Judging by the photo, the helicopter for almost 2 years on Mars did not suffer much externally from the harsh local conditions. NASA confirmed that its batteries have degraded by only 10% during this time, which allows the helicopter mission to be extended until the end of 2023, provided that it can keep up with the Perseverance rover. The scientific team of the rover is working according to its plan and supporting the helicopter nearby is not part of their work responsibilities.
The video below shows the takeoff process, the appearance of a fairly dense dust cloud raised by the rotating propellers of the helicopter, as well as the Ingenuity hovering after reaching a height of 12 meters and its lateral movement to the southwest. The helicopter landed far off-screen.
Currently, the Perseverance rover is performing its main scientific mission and has traveled more than 16 km. Perseverance is a few hundred meters away from Ingenuity.
According to current statistics, Ingenuity was in operation on Mars more than 20 times longer than the estimated time: 731 sols (Martian days), like the Perseverance rover, but 666 sols on the surface of the planet - autonomously. The helicopter was designed for 30 days of operation in Mars conditions after landing from the rover. It turned out that its capabilities allow you to fly longer. In August 2021, NASA extended the work of Ingenuity for 2022 and then for 2023 in the reconnaissance probe mode to fix possible obstacles from the air and select the best ways for the rover to move. It will fly until at least mid-2023 if problems with communication, navigation sensors and battery are solved. Now the device remains stable, although its range has decreased from 700 meters to 400-500 meters per flight.
On April 8, 2021, the rover's camera captured the procedure for checking the operation of the Ingenuity rotors.
For 47 missions and 1.9 years of operation, Ingenuity flew a total of 10537 meters above the surface of Mars and spent 4904 seconds (more than 81 minutes) in flight mode in the planet's atmosphere. The device reached a ceiling of 14 meters and developed a maximum speed of 6 m / s. For all the flights, Ingenuity took several hundred color photographs and more than 7 thousand white photographs with the help of its cameras.
It is noteworthy that Ingenuity covered two-thirds of the distance in the planet's atmosphere that the Perseverance rover in scientific research mode traveled over the surface for the entire time (the rover traveled more than 16 thousand meters on Mars).
Ingenuity's hardware systems are based on the Snapdragon 801 SoC board. Linux and open source software are installed on its onboard system.
On April 19, 2021, Ingenuity made its first autonomous flight, and the rover made and sent its video to Earth