NASA Mars Helicopter Ingenuity Makes Longest and Fastest Flight

NASA’s Mars helicopter went up again, going faster and traveling a total distance that was about the length of an American football field on its third trip through the wispy air of Mars.

Like the first two flights, the small experimental flying robot, named Ingenuity, perfectly executed its instructions from Earth. At 1:31 a.m. Eastern time — 12:33 p.m. local Mars time — it lifted 16 feet off the ground, then flew a round-trip distance of 328 feet before landing back where it started.

That was about 25 times as far as the second flight flew three days ago. The helicopter reached a top speed of 4.5 miles per hour, and the flight lasted about one minute and 20 seconds.

The flight was a test of the helicopter’s navigation system,…

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