Yes, that helicopter on Mars still works
On April 19, 2021, the Ingenuity helicopter earned the title of the first powered flight on another planet. Nearly two years later, the helicopter has completed its 50th flight on Mars. Was this longevity expected?
This most recent flight (Flight 50) was mainly a relocation of the rotorcraft which positioned it on the opposite side of a ridgeline from Perseverance. As a result, there was a delay in getting confirmation of a successful flight. Each flight, whether for scientific imaging or not, is aimed at keeping Ingenuity ahead of the rover as it conducts science of its own.
Additionally, this area of Mars, the area outside of Perseverance’s landing location, Jezero Crater, Ingenuity has been navigating rockier terrain.
When Ingenuity was announced as a companion spacecraft to the Perseverance rover, skeptics had every right to question whether or not it would actually work. Step one was landing Perseverance successfully on Mars, which occurred on February…