Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind The Black by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Donate through Gabpay, using my email address zimmerman @ nasw dot org.

3. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

4. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Ingenuity’s fifth flight later today

The flight path of Ingenuity's fourth flight
The flight path of Ingenuity’s 3rd and 4th flights.
Click for original image.

According to Ingenuity’s engineering team, the helicopter will make its fifth flight today, and unlike the previous flights, it will not return to is initial take-off point, but will instead land to the south, putting it in a better position to tag along with Perseverance. As noted by Josh Ravitch, Ingenuity’s mechanical engineering lead at JPL,

We are traveling to a new base because this is the direction Perseverance is going, and if we want to continue to demonstrate what can be done from an aerial perspective, we have to go where the rover goes.

The map to the right show’s the flight paths of Ingenuity’s third and fourth flights, with the fourth heading south. Based on the data obtained they scouted out its likely landing place for the fifth flight.

[The] targeted takeoff time is 12:33 p.m. local Mars time (3:26 p.m. EDT, or 12:26 p.m. PDT), with data coming down at 7:31 p.m. EDT (4:31 p.m. PDT). Ingenuity will take off at Wright Brothers Field – the same spot where the helicopter took off and touched back down on all the other flights – but it will land elsewhere, which is another first for our rotorcraft. Ingenuity will climb to 16 feet (5 meters), then retrace its course from flight four, heading south 423 feet (129 meters).

This April 30th Ingenuity update by Håvard Grip, Ingenuity’s chief pilot, provides a very detailed explanation of what they are learning about flight on Mars, describing issues of take-off, landing, dust, and maneuvering. Engineers (or any geeks in general) will find Grip’s commentary most interesting.

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions are available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors, with the ebook priced at $5.99 before discount. The ebook can also be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95; Shipping cost for either: $5.00). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Read the link. Great stuff! (Apologies, Wayne). The ‘coptor is wired, and a lot of data has been gathered on flying in a non-Earth environment.

    Having read, and written, a number of engineering reports, I was amused by some of the language:

    ” . . . possibly resulting in undefined behavior.”

    ” . . . which is important in order to avoid detecting touchdown prematurely.”

    Writing the book, right now.

  • A. Nonymous

    Allright, stupid question time. Ingenuity is often described as a helicopter, but it’s closer in size to a quadcopter drone.

    So… does Ingenuity use lift or thrust?

  • As was sometimes said of the F-4 Phantom II: “With enough thrust, anything can fly.”

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *