NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity just completed its most difficult flight to date.
It was the helicopter’s ninth flight and one that NASA described as a “high-speed flight across unfriendly terrain” that separated the helicopter from the Mars rover for the first time. During Monday’s flight, the helicopter set new records for distance, air time, and speed.
Ingenuity hit a top speed of 16 feet per second and flew for 166.4 seconds. During the flight, the helicopter photographed the surface of Mars, which was a difficult task that required Ingenuity to make sense of new terrain that included high slopes.
NASA deemed the flight a success in spite of its challenges and explained that Ingenuity handled itself well.