Mars helicopter Ingenuity scores another safe flight on Red Planet

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity is still strong. It flew its 11th flight to Mars on Thursday (Aug. 5)The small chopper flew 1,250 feet (380m) and was meant to bring Ingenuity to a location where it can make its base for geology reconnaissance flights of South Stah. This rugged area is located on the floor at Mars' Jezero Crater.According to the flight plan, Ingenuity was awakened for its mission at around 12:30 p.m. on Mars. This is at 12:47 a.m. ET (0447 GMT) on Earth. It lifted off three minutes later. The mission was to take the helicopter to a height of 39 feet (12m) and to reach speeds of 11 miles (18 km/h).Similar: These amazing selfies of NASA’s Mars helicopter and the Perseverance Rover are incrediblePhotograph of Ingenuity's shadow taken on Mars by the vehicle on its 11th flight, which was executed Aug. 5, 2021. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California is where the mission team was based. They confirmed the flight as successful in a tweet. However, they have not provided any further details.Today's flight is part a continuing campaign to use Ingenuity in scouting for its larger companion, NASA Perseverance rover. Although the rover is equipped with more advanced scientific equipment than Ingenuity, it isn't as agile and drivers must be vigilant about the terrain it traverses.Continue reading: NASA plans to build larger, more capable Mars helicoptersThis type of information is possible because of Ingenuity. Today's flight took the helicopter to a new landing spot in a region that scientists have named South Stah. According to previous statements, the helicopter's work in this area could be impeded by the sandy ripples.Ingenuity did not do much work on this flight. However, the helicopter could have taken a few photos in color and collected the materials to create a stereo 3D image of its new base. According to the mission team, South Stah reconnaissance flights should be the next outing for the little helicopter, with additional flights possible.Send Meghan Bartels an email at, or follow her Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @Spacedotcom