Mars Helicopter Ingenuity survives sixth flight despite in-flight anomaly

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity was originally expected to complete its campaign after just five flights. After extraordinary performance on in the initial flights, demonstrating the possibility of powered flight on Mars, NASA JPL decided to extend the campaign to gather more information.

The fourth and fifth flight: preparations

The fourth flight of Ingenuity saw the helicopter fly 133meters to a potential new landing field. The helicopter gathered color images of the area and returned to the Wright Brothers Field where it first took off. When planning for a landing zone, the team put lots of time into finding a sufficiently flat and clear area where the helicopter could take off and land repeatedly. Each flight had seen Ingenuity make a return trip to the airfield, but the fifth flight was different. Ingenuity made its first one-way trip. The fifth flight saw Ingenuity return to the same point that it surveyed on the fourth flight and climb to a record altitude of 10meters to…