WASHINGTON, April 22 (Xinhua) -- NASA's Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed its second Mars flight on Thursday, achieving a higher maximum altitude, longer duration, and sideways movement, according to NASA.
Ingenuity took off again at 5:33 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time. The new flight, following the first one on Monday, lasted 51.9 seconds, and the helicopter climbed to 5 meters.
After the helicopter hovered briefly, its flight control system performed a slight tilt, allowing some of the thrust from the counter-rotating rotors to accelerate the craft sideways for 2 meters.
Ingenuity arrived at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, attached to the belly of NASA's Perseverance rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration with a planned test flight duration of up to 30 Martian days.
Deployed to the surface of Jezero Crater on April 3, Ingenuity is currently in its 30 Martian days flight test window.
As the data and imagery indicate that the Mars helicopter not only survived the second flight but also flew as anticipated, the Ingenuity team is considering how best to expand the profiles of its next flights to acquire additional aeronautical data from the first successful flight tests on another world, according to NASA.