The Mars Ingenuity helicopter has completed its second historic flight, NASA said Thursday morning — after making history earlier this week with the first controlled flight on another planet.
“#MarsHelicopter Flight #2 is in the books!” NASA reported via Twitter.
Agency scientists have said they want to push Ingenuity to its limits after its first flight took it 10 feet above the red planet’s surface for all of 39 seconds.
Scientists programmed Ingenuity’s second flight to last 50 seconds and bring the chopper 16 feet above the ground. While in air, Ingenuity was set to tilt 5 degrees and move 7 feet sideways.
The 4-pound chopper is scheduled to conduct even riskier flights before its mission wraps up later this month.
“We want to push. We want to push against the wind. We want to push against the speed,” NASA project leader Mimi Aung told reporters on Monday after the maiden voyage. “Ultimately we expect the helicopter to meet its limit.”
Video of Ingenuity’s “higher, bolder flight” will be available soon, NASA said.