The small helicopter was airborne for 166.4 seconds – 2.8 minutes – and flew at 5 meters (16 feet) per second, according to the tweet.
This latest expedition has taken the helicopter away from the tenacity and over Mars’ Sittah, an area of sandy ripples that presents terrain too challenging for rovers, according to a pre-flight statement.
A trip through unfriendly terrain was expected to challenge Ingenuity’s navigation algorithm in an entirely new way.
“This on-board algorithm that allows ingenuity to locate along the flight path, is designed for a relatively simple technical presentation on flat terrain and does not have the design features to accommodate the high inclines and undulations that can be found on a setah” to Havard Gripp, Chief Pilot, Bob Balaram, chief engineer of the Mars Helicopter Project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
They said ripples can cause creativity to sway. Other potential challenges included abrupt changes in slope tracks that could cause problems finding the landing site, because the Ingenuity camera assumes the Earth is flat.
“There is a distinct possibility that the cumulative effect of this is a significant lateral error at the destination landing site, with delivery errors of up to tens of feet (or metres),” Grip and Balaram said in a pre-flight statement. “It is possible that we will end up landing on a more treacherous surface and higher relief than the relatively benign sandy patches we have been able to pick up so far.
“It’s safe to say it will be the most nerve-wracking trip since Flight 1.”
The dexterity was expected to capture color aerial photos of the rocks and ripples it passed during the flight, which will help the probe’s science team, according to NASA.