NASA's Mars Rover helicopter, called Ingenuity, successfully flew for the seventh time on the Red Planet. Ingenuity also took a black and white photo while it was up in the air.
The Mars Rover is also busy at work looking for signs of life, but not before taking videos of the rotorcraft as it did its first few flights.
Where Is the Rover? How to Track Perseverance and Ingenuity
NASA's "Where is Perseverance?" Map allows the public to track where the Martian Rover and helicopter are on the Red Planet.
According to the Perseverance Twitter account, both Perseverance and Ingenuity are heading south and it looks like they're not that far away from each other.
The map is composed of two layers, NASA explained. A grayscale of the Jezero Crater map, and a true-color base map that make up the rendered tracker available on the website.
Each dot on the map represents the end point of a drive and is labeled with the day, or sol on Mars, that the Rover stopped. Hovering over the lines, it tells you the distance Perseverance covered from one point to the other.
Ingenuity's initial mission flight path is also on the map. According to Space.com, Perseverance captured video and some audio of Ingenuity's first five flights. But the Rover later relinquished its documentarian role to focus on its own important mission.
While Ingenuity's mission is to test the capabilities of flight of rotorcrafts in space, Perseverance's task is to seek signs of ancient life and collect samples of rock and regolith (broken rock and dust) to return to Eath, NASA said.
NASA Mars Rover Helicopter: Ingenuity's Seventh Mars Flight
Ingenuity landed on the Red Planet with NASA's Perseverance Rover on February 18. The solar-powered rotorcraft was deployed from the Rover's belly on April 3, the start of Ingenuity's 30-day fight campaign, said Space.com.
The campaign was designed to show that powered, controlled flight is possible in Mars' thin air.
Business Insider reported that in the technology-demonstrating campaign, Ingenuity performed five flights. After successfully completing the campaign, it proceeded to go on an extended mission--this time to showcase the scouting potential of the rotorcraft on Mars.
On May 22 in the first flight of the extended mission, the helicopter suffered a glitch and momentarily interrupted the flow of photos from its navigation camera to its onboard computer.
Thankfully, Ingenuity powered through and landed safely near its intended destination.
With no in-flight anomalies, the helicopter lifted off at around 12:34 local mean solar time on Tuesday, June 8, which is about 11:54 a.m. EDT or 3:34 p.m. GMT, according to Space.com.
Ingenuity flew for 62.8 seconds and traveled about 106 meters, 348 feet, south to a new landing spot, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) announced on Twitter.
This brand new airfield was only ever captured from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter in space, suggesting a flat landing ground. Now thanks to Ingenuity, we can now get a closer look.
Ingenuity's new mission is just as vital as the first, displaying just how important the ability to fly the helicopter out into terrain the rover cannot access or traverse and bring back scientific data.
"This is extremely important for future missions that could combine a rover with a reconnaissance helicopter," Ken Farley, a project scientist with NASA's Perseverance rover, said in a briefing (per Business Insider).
After showing some resilience, Ingenuity is expected to keep flying to new airfields for as long as it can go.