Watch NASA's Mars Ingenuity Helicopter Take Off in "Most Detailed" Footage to Date

New video footage from NASA‘s Perseverance Mars rover of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter‘s 13th flight on September 4 provides “the most detailed look yet of the rotorcraft in action,” NASA said in a statement.

Ingenuity’s 160.5-second Flight 13 stands out as one of the rotorcraft’s most complicated fights to date, as the helicopter flew into varied terrain within the “Séítah” geological feature and captured images of an outcrop from several different angles for the rover team. Taken from 26 feet in the air, the new images supplement previous photos captured during Flight 12.

The video of the flight, which was captured by the rover’s two-camera Mastcam-Z, provides two angles of the rotorcraft’s movement. The first shows the four-pound helicopter’s large-scale flight profile, while the second provides a close-up of takeoff and landing, which the rover’s team captured as part of research intended to measure the amount of dust plumes generated by the rotorcraft.

“The value of Mastcam-Z really shines through with these video clips,” said Justin Maki, deputy principal investigator for the Mastcam-Z instrument at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “Even at 300 meters [328 yards] away, we get a magnificent closeup of takeoff and landing through Mastcam-Z’s ‘right eye.’ And while the helicopter is little more than a speck in the wide view taken through the ‘left eye,’ it gives viewers a good feel for the size of the environment that Ingenuity is exploring.”

The helicopter is currently preparing to embark on its 16th flight, which will be a shorter, 109-second flight and will involve the helicopter reaching a 33-foot altitude. Watch the rover’s latest video above.

In case you missed it, NASA is planning to construct a nuclear power plant on the Moon.
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