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Mars helicopter Ingenuity completes 22nd flight

Mars helicopter Ingenuity completes 22nd flight
NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity completed its 22nd flight over the weekend, the space agency announced. Photo courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

March 22 (UPI) -- NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity completed its 22nd flight over the weekend, the space agency announced.

"The trip lasted 101.4 seconds and Ingenuity got up to 33 feet in the air," NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a tweet Monday. "The team is planning another flight perhaps as early as later this week."

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During its first 21 flights, Ingenuity flew a total of 15,247 feet and stayed in the air for nearly 39 minutes, according to a flight log from the mission team.

Ingenuity has been scouting possible routes and destinations for Perseverance as the rover hunts for signs of ancient life on Mars.

The pair landed in Mars' Jezero Crater in February 2021, a site that hosted a lake and river delta billions of years ago.

Also Tuesday, NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured an image of China's Zhurong rover on the surface.

The spacecraft's High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment camera captured abut 0.93 miles of tracks Zhurong has made traveling since landing in May 2021, showing it inspected the parachute and backshell that helped it land on the planet and surveyed surface features such as dunes.

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Dispatches from Mars: Perseverance rover sends images

NASA's Perseverance Mars rover, using its Mastcam-Z camera system, captured this view of the Martian sunset on November 9, 2021, the 257th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. Martian sunsets typically stand out for their distinctive blue color as fine dust in the atmosphere permits blue light to penetrate the atmosphere more efficiently than colors with longer wavelengths. But this sunset looks different: Less dust in the atmosphere resulted in a more muted color than average. The color has been calibrated and white-balanced to remove camera artifacts. Photo courtesy of NASA | License Photo

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