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Business News/ Science / NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter bids adieu with a final message: A peek into historic moments of this spacecraft
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NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter bids adieu with a final message: A peek into historic moments of this spacecraft

The Ingenuity Mars helicopter of NASA sent its last message to the Earth recently. A peek into historic moments of this spacecraft, which will now function as a stationary data-gathering unit on the red planet's surface.

NASA's Mars Ingenuity helicopter hovers above the surface of the planet during its second flight on April 22 in 2021. (AP)Premium
NASA's Mars Ingenuity helicopter hovers above the surface of the planet during its second flight on April 22 in 2021. (AP)

The Ingenuity Mars helicopter of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent its last message to the Earth. It will now function as a stationary data-gathering unit on the red planet's surface, the US space agency revealed.

On January 25, 2024, NASA announced the end of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter's mission. NASA's Administrator Bill Nelson made the announcement about its conclusion. Subsequently, its last message surfaced. 

Also read: NASA ends Mars helicopter mission: Ingenuity stops flying after nearly three years of exploration

The Mars helicopter, equivalent to the size of a tissue box, landed on Mars on April 19, 2021, onboard the Perseverance rover. The aircraft etched its name in history with the first powered flight on another planet. 

Ingenuity aircraft completed a total of 72 flights, but its initial target was to undertake five test runs. Defying expectations, this mission logged more than two hours of flight time. With this mission, researchers searched for signs of ancient microbial life.

Also read: Mars Ingenuity Helicopter re-establishes contact with mission controllers: NASA

Its final image is among one of the series of images captured from March 26, 2021, to April 3, 2024. The final image sequence shows the helicopter positioned on the Martian surface.

The rover was positioned at "Van Zyl Overlook" in Mars' Jezero Crater, where the aircraft's flight was recorded with its cameras, as it climbed to 3 meters, hovered briefly, and then landed safely.

Also read: NASA's Ingenuity helicopter dropped on Mars' surface ahead of flight

The helicopter made its 59th flight on Mars on September 16,  2023, when it flew to its second highest altitude  of 66 feet (20 meters).

 

Earlier in January, the US space agency announced that the chopper had a rotor blade damage and can no longer fly.

In April 8, 2022,  stunning footage was captured by the Mars Helicopter's navigation camera of its 25th flight. The spacecraft travelled 704 meters at a speed of 5.5 meters per secon,d which marked one of the longest and fastest flight of the rotorcraft on the Red Planet.

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Published: 18 Apr 2024, 03:50 PM IST
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