A modest proposal.
NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity has done it all.
The tiny four-pound rotorcraft recently completed its 41st flight ever since being gently dropped off on the surface by its much bigger brother Perseverance, well over a year and a half ago.
Yes, it's covered a lot of ground on a planet hundreds of millions of miles away. Yes, it managed to take some impressive footage in the process.
But considering how much time it's spent on the surface, and the dozens of very similar flights it has completed, we can't help but feel like we, the American taxpayers, deserve a little bit more excitement.
So how about some sick tricks?
NASA is supposedly a part of the government, beholden to the wisdom of the American people. As such, we have a humble suggestion: the space agency should make interplanetary history once more by using its Ingenuity Marscopter to do some sick tricks from the hit video game franchise "Tony Hawk's Pro Skater."
We're talking gnarly darkslide grinds on shelves of billions of years old igneous rock, or maybe a drop into an ancient pool — after all, its home for the last 600 days is the Jezero crater, which is suspected to be an ancient dried-up lake bed.
Let the tiny helicopter freestyle for once, NASA.
Ingenuity has already blown far past its original goal of demonstrating that it's possible to take flight on the surface of another planet. Hell, it already had exceeded all expectations just a month into its mission.
The helicopter has spent a cumulative 67 minutes in the air, sped up to a blistering 12.3 mph, and reached altitudes of 46 feet, according to its official flight log. It's also served plenty of other purposes, including scouting new sites for the Perseverance rover to visit.
In short, do we really want to force Ingenuity to keep up its tired hops? Isn't 41 flights enough? Why not throw in some gnarly kickflips and nosegrabs as a fitting interplanetary finale?
NASA has already laid the foundation for many exciting flights on the surface of distant planets — and not just Mars — in the near future.
So what's stopping the agency from ending Ingenuity's years-long stint on Mars with a real bang?
We'd be seriously stoked.
READ MORE: Mars helicopter Ingenuity soars over Perseverance rover tracks on 41st flight [Space.com]
More on Ingenuity: NASA Says "Foreign Object Debris" Briefly Stuck to Its Mars Helicopter
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