Acing its fourth flight on Mars, NASA’s Ingenuity will advance to a new testing round

The Ingenuity helicopter on Mars. | Image: NASA/JPL

After acing a set of historic test flights on Mars, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter will embark on a new, more advanced test mission, engineers said today. Having proved itself capable of flying higher and farther with its fourth flight on Friday, the mini helicopter will get ready to demonstrate how it could help Mars rovers, like Perseverance, scout for new locations and probe areas inaccessible to wheeled robots.

Ingenuity, which became the first helicopter to fly on another world earlier this month, was initially set to retire forever when its flight demonstration phase ends next week, after completing five flights. But the team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory okayed another round of testing because Perseverance’s post-landing health…

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