NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Makes History With Maiden Flight On Mars Surface

Technology Team Latestly|

NASA successfully flew its tiny helicopter Ingenuity on Mars early on April 19. It was the first powered flight on another planet & a feat a top engineer called "our Wright brothers' moment”. At 3:34 am Eastern Time (0734 GMT), the four pound (1.8 kilogram) rotorcraft lifted off, hovered 10 feet (three meters) above the Martian surface, then came back to rest after 39.1 seconds. Data and images from the autonomous flight were transmitted 173 million miles (278 million kilometres) back to Earth where they were received by NASA's array of ground antennas & processed more than three hours later. Engineers were tensely watching their screens at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, where the mission had been designed & planned for the past six years. They broke into applause as one of them read off a checklist of tasks Ingenuity had achieved and concluded, "Ingenuity has performed its first flight -- the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet”. Ingenuity quickly sent back a black-and-white image from its downward pointing navigation camera, showing its bug-like shadow cast on the surface. Then came a choppy colour video from the Perseverance rover showing Ingenuity on the ground, in flight, and then once again at rest.

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