The Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ingenuity Mars Lander is readying to continue exploring on its seventh flight, which could take place as early as Sunday.
The next flight is anticipated no earlier than this Sunday,” JPL said in a written statement.
Engineers plan to fly the autonomous, 4-pound, solar-powered helicopter to a new spot about 350 feet from where it currently sits, officials said.
“This will mark the second time the helicopter will land at an airfield that it did not survey from the air during a previous flight,” according to the JPL statement. “Instead, the Ingenuity team is relying on imagery collected by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter that suggests this new base of operations is relatively flat and has few surface obstructions.”
Once the flight is complete, the data collected will be sent back to researchers on Earth over the following three days.