NASA's ingenuity helicopter stretched its rotors on Thursday, taking its second flight on Mars.
The miniature robot aircraft made history on Monday when it rose just over 10 feet (3 meters) into the Martian atmosphere for nearly 40 seconds, marking the first powered controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.
On Thursday Ingenuity rose around 6 feet (1.8 meters) higher, according to a NASA statement, stayed aloft for nearly 52 seconds, and also performed a sideways tilt.
Officials at the US space agency have hailed the flight of the 4-pound (1.8-kg) rotorcraft as an achievement that would help pave the way for a new mode of aerial exploration on Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan.
The debut flight of Ingenuity, resembling a large metallic tissue box with four legs and a twin-rotor parasol, was documented in full-color video by cameras aboard the science rover vehicle Perseverance, which carried the helicopter to the Red Planet two months ago.
NASA likened the achievement to the Wright Brothers' first controlled flight of their motor-driven airplane near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903 - a takeoff and landing that covered just 120 feet (37 meters) in 12 seconds.