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Mars

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:

https://go.nasa.gov/ingenuity-press-kit

and

https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter

 

Bob
Bobbytown, California
bob@bob.com

 

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