October 22, 2021

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NASA extends Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s high-flying mission on Red Planet

5 min read

NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity will keep flying for an additional 30 days (at least), on an extended mission that will test the chopper’s ability to be a “scout,” the agency announced today (April 30). 

Ingenuity was originally slated to operate for  30 days on Mars, conducting a technology-demonstrating mission designed to test whether or not powered, controlled flight is possible on Mars. However, with the success of its first three flights, NASA has decided to extend the helicopter mission an additional 30 sols and shift it into an “operations demonstration phase” that will test additional capabilities of the craft. (One sol, or Mars day, is about 40 minutes longer than an Earth day.)  

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