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Click for full resolution. Individual images can be found, in sequence, here, here, here, and here.
Early today Ingenuity successfully completed its third flight on Mars, traveling a considerable distance north from its taken-off point and then returning almost exactly to that point, as shown by the montage of four Perseverance navigation images above.
You will want to look at the high resolution montage, as the details are much clearer. The large mountains in the background are the rim of Jezero Crater. The smaller plateau in front of these mountains and much closer is the edge of the delta that Perseverance will explore.
The helicopter took off at 4:31 a.m. EDT (1:31 a.m. PDT), or 12:33 p.m. local Mars time, rising 16 feet (5 meters) – the same altitude as its second flight. Then it zipped downrange 164 feet (50 meters), just over half the length of a football field, reaching a top speed of 6.6 feet per second (2 meters per second).
I have embedded below the fold video of the helicopter’s take off, flight to the north, and then return and landing, created from Perseverance images. Because the camera did not pan the helicopter moves off frame for the middle part of its flight. In the coming days I expect they will assemble a video showing the entire flight.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit.
And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.