NASA’s ‘Ingenuity’ takes first powered flight on Mars
‘Ingenuity’ hovered in the air up to an altitude of 10 feet on Mars for around 39.1 seconds.
NASA’s Mars helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ on April 19, 2021, successfully became the first aircraft to take a powered flight on Mars.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced that the altimeter data indicates ‘Ingenuity’ hovered in the air up to an altitude of 10 feet on Mars for around 39.1 seconds.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory received the first black and white photos of the flight back on Earth that showed the helicopter’s shadow as it was descending on the red planet’s ground.
The control was completely autonomous. With under 300 million km from Mars, flying the helicopter with a joystick was not an option.
It happened. Today our #MarsHelicopter proved that powered, controlled flight from the surface of another planet is possible. It takes a little ingenuity, perseverance, and spirit to make that opportunity a reality: https://t.co/oT3rrBm6wj pic.twitter.com/u63GKshp0G— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2021
Ingenuity, the Mars Helicopter is a solar-powered helicopter placed on Mars to test powered controlled flight on another planet.
The 4-pound (1.8 kg) helicopter is 19.3-inch-tall with no science instruments. It has two cameras, a high-resolution colour camera looking out into the horizon of Mars and another black-and-white camera looking down on the ground of Mars.
Ingenuity was hitched along with the Perseverance rover. Once the rover reached a suitable location, Ingenuity rolled out to perform a series of test flights beginning early April 2021.
This flight by the Mars helicopter Ingenuity is the first powered flight in an extremely thin atmosphere like that of Mars.