Watch: NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity flies in 3D above Martian surface
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab continues to release videos of its Perseverance mission on Mars, and now earthlings can watch the Ingenuity helicopter fly in 3D.
Tens of millions of miles away, an American-made helicopter is buzzing around the surface of Mars, and now earthlings can watch that autonomous aircraft in 3D.
- “The April 25 flight brought with it several other firsts, with Ingenuity rising 16 feet (5 meters), then flying downrange 164 feet (50 meters),” NASA said of the video.
- “That was a record until Ingenuity traveled 873 feet (266 meters) on its fourth flight, on April 30. For its fifth flight, on May 7, Ingenuity completed its first one-way trip, traveling 423 feet (129 meters), then reaching an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) above its new landing field,” said the space administration of Ingenuity’s recent travels.
- Ingenuity weighs 4 pounds, stands 19 inches tall and has a rotor span of 4 feet, according to a NASA fact sheet. The autonomous helicopter is controlled from Earth through the Perseverance rover.
From rover photos to 3D video
- A team of Jet Propulsion Lab scientists stitched the images together to create a video, and then “the frames of the video were reprojected to optimize viewing in an anaglyph, or an image seen in 3D when viewed with color-filtered glasses,” according to NASA.
- “The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (Mars Descent Imager) camera,” said Justin Maki — the JPL scientists that led the imaging team — in a statement. “To be reusing this capability on a new mission by acquiring 3D video of a helicopter flying above the surface of Mars is just spectacular.”
🔴 🚁 Our Ingenuity #MarsHelicopter, but make it 3D!— NASA (@NASA) May 12, 2021
When the helicopter took to the Martian skies on its third flight, @NASAPersevere was there to capture it all. Check out the rendered flight in 3D as it ascends, hovers, then zooms laterally: https://t.co/YVY07InRKu pic.twitter.com/dAR37lBONk