Source: Robert Besser

PASADENA, California.: NASA completed the third flight of the Mars helicopter Ingenuity on April 25.

“The space chopper is demonstrating critical capabilities that could enable the addition of an aerial dimension to future missions to Mars and beyond,” NASA said.

The helicopter took off from the Martian surface at 1:31 a.m., rising 16 feet and flying 164 feet to the north, while traveling at 6.6 feet per second.

“Today’s flight was what we planned for, and yet it was nothing short of amazing,” said Dave Lavery, project program executive for Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.

This latest flight lasted 51 seconds.

Ingenuity has only two more weeks of flying scheduled. NASA is eventually expected to push the helicopter to the limits of its abilities and allow it to crash.

Also, engineers on Earth are testing Ingenuity’s cameras to provide images from Mars.

“This is the first time we’ve seen the algorithm for the camera running over a long distance,” said MiMi Aung, the helicopter’s project manager. “You can’t do this inside a test chamber.”