Photo gallery of Ingenuity

Close up image of ingenuity shortly after being tossed off of the rover. Credits: JPL
Right: Image of the debris that Ingenuity created. Left: Real Image. Credits: JPL
Ingenuity hovering in its first flight on mars. Credits: JPL
Ingenuity during its second flight, hovering. Credits: JPL
Ingenuity in the rover’s belly, waiting to be dropped. Credits: JPL
International Space Station Satellite

SpaceX Crew-2 Successfully launches



Courtesy of Nasa

NASA’s SpaceX Crew-2 astronauts are now in orbit following their early morning launch. The crew lifted off at 5:49 a.m. EDT Friday from Launchpad 39A.

The launch countdown proceeded fairly smoothly with few problems. The crew even played a game that resembled rock, paper, scissors. 

The rocket lifted the Crew Dragon spacecraft with astronauts Shane Kimbrough and Megan McArthur, Akihiko Hoshide, and astronaut Thomas Pesquet, to the international space station to begin a six-month mission.

During Crew Dragon’s flight to the space station, SpaceX mission control at Hawthorne, California, along with Nasa mission control at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, will command the spacecraft from its mission.

SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket carrying the 4 astronauts lifts off at Kennedy Space Center

This was SpaceX’s third crewed launch ever. 

“It has been an incredible year for NASA and our Commercial Crew Program” said NASA Acting Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “It will be an exciting moment to see our crews greet one another on station for our first crew handover under the Commercial Crew Program.”

The Crew will dock autonomously (or manually, if anything goes wrong) to the space station at about 5:10 a.m. EDT, Saturday, April 24. NASA would provide live coverage through docking and hatch opening. 

Like any over spaceflight, this mission also had many firsts, including:

  • First reuse of the Crew Dragon spacecraft on a crew mission –The spacecraft carrying the crew also flew the historic (and famous) Demo-2 mission.
  • First time two commercial crew spacecraft will be docked to station at the same time. The other would be the crew 1 spacecraft. 
  • First commercial crew mission to fly an ESA astronaut. Pesquet is the first of three ESA crew members assigned to fly to station on a commercial spacecraft.

Kimbrough, McArthur, Hoshide, and Pesquet will join Shannon Walker, Michael Hopkins, Victor Glover, and Mark Vande Hei, Soichi Noguchi, Oleg Novitskiy and Pyotr Dubrov. Number of crew on the space station will increase to 11 people until astronauts Walker, Hopkins, Glover, and Noguchi end their 6-month mission.

Mission Objectives

The Crew-2 members will conduct science and maintenance during a six-month stay aboard the orbiting laboratory and will return no earlier than Oct. 31. 

An important science experiment on this expedition is continuing a study of tissue chips, or small models of human organs. Another important element of Crew-2’s mission is installing the first roll-out Solar Arrays, which will help power the station. 

Learn more about NASA’s Commercial Crew program at:


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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Flys!

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this shot while hovering over the Martian surface on April 19, 2021

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Monday, Perseverance’s Ingenuity Helicopter became the first aircraft in space history to make a flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter.

The solar-powered helicopter flew at 3:34 a.m. EDT, or 12:33 Mars time, a time the Ingenuity team determined would have optimal energy and flight conditions. Ingenuity climbed to 3 meters and hovered for 30 seconds. It then descended, touching back down on the surface of Mars.


In this video captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover, the agency’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took the first powered, controlled flight on another planet on April 19, 2021.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

Ingenuity’s flight was all autonomous – piloted by sensors and computers. That makes everything even cooler.

As one of NASA’s technology demonstration projects, a 49-centimeter-tall Ingenuity Helicopter contains no science instruments, except for a few sensors for navigation. Instead, the craft is intended to demonstrate flight on another planet. 

Since this event is so historically important, NASA Associate Administrator for Science Thomas Zurbuchen announced the name for the Martian airfield on which the flight took place would be known as Wright Brothers Field, after the brothers that created the first airplane to fly on Earth, 

For more information about Ingenuity:



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International Space Station

Spacex Crew-2 Mission Launch on April 22


NASA astronauts Shane Kimbrough and   Megan McArthur, JAXA astronaut  Akihiko Hoshide, and ESA (European Space Agency) astronaut  Thomas Pesquet will lift off at 6:11 a.m. EDT Thursday, April 22, aboard the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour, carried by the company’s Falcon 9 rocket from Launch Complex 39A at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Those astronauts are part of the SpaceX crew 2 mission, after the famous SpaceX crew 1 mission. 

Crew-2 astronauts will become the second crew to fly a full-duration mission to the space station on Crew Dragon for a six-month science mission on the orbiting laboratory. They are scheduled to arrive at the space station at 5:30 a.m. EDT Friday, April 23, and will join the Expedition 65 crew, Crew-1 astronauts Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover, Shannon Walker, and Soichi Noguchi. 


A Northrop Grumman extending mission successfully extends IntelSat 10-02’s life

On Monday (April 12), Northrop Grumman announced that their satellite refueling spacecraft, called Mission Extension Vehicle 2 (MEV-2), successfully docked to the commercial communications satellite Intelsat 10-02. 

MEV-2 is a robotic spacecraft designed to attach itself to aging satellites to help extend their operations in orbit. It launched on Aug. 15, 2020 , on an Ariane 5 rocket. 

The docking of MEV-2 to this Intelsat satellite Monday “was every bit as exciting and successful” Joe Anderson, the director of Mission Extension Vehicle services said.

The spacecraft will stay in orbit attached to IS-10-02 for five years, helping the satellite to continue being alive. At the end of this five-year contract, the craft will jet off to another satellite and dock. Both MEV-1 and MEV-2 are capable of working with multiple satellites in their lifetimes, Anderson said. 

If spacecraft refueling/extending satellites could be produced more frequently. Every time a spacecraft runs out of fuel, electricity, or the spacecraft has a broken instrument, instead of wasting all that money building a new one, a cheaper solution – that is, the refueling mission – could be used. 




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Ingenuity helicopter

Perseverance and Ingenuity landed together inside Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18. On April 3, the solar-powered helicopter deployed from the rover’s belly and began soaking up the Martian sun for the first time.

NASA had originally aimed to conduct the first Red Planet flight of its  Ingenuity helicopter  on Sunday (April 11). A high-speed rotor-spinning test on Friday (April 9) didn’t go as planned, however,  pushing the debut back  until Wednesday (April 14) at the earliest.

The test was planned to make the blades rotate at 2400 rotations per minute, or 40 revolutions per second. 

But during the test, “the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a ‘watchdog’ timer expiration,” NASA officials  wrote in a statement  on Saturday (April 10). “This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode.”

“Our best estimate of a targeted flight date is fluid right now, but we are working toward achieving these milestones and will set a flight date next week,” NASA officials wrote in an update.

Ingenuity’s main task is to show that powered flight on Mars is possible, If Ingenuity’s flight is successful, future Mars missions could use helicopters as scouts for rovers or as data gatherers in their own right, NASA officials have said.

While the helicopter team works out Ingenuity’s issues, Perseverance will continue studying nearby rock targets and prepare the Mars Oxygen In Situ Resource Utilization Experiment (MOXIE) which will generate oxygen from the Martian atmosphere(made mostly of CO2).

Once Ingenuity has finished its flights, Perseverance will focus fully on its own mission,


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