NASA pulls off first Martian liftoff of ‘Ingenuity’ helicopter

Ingenuity performs first flight on Mars

As expected, Ingenuity, the diminutive helicopter the Perseverance rover flew to Mars completed a successful test flight from the Jezero Crater at 12:31 a.m. EDT and achineved an altitude of about 10 feet before touching down successfully 40 seconds later.

Though the first flight of Ingenuity only lasted only seconds and the flight was not particularly high by Earth standards, the monumental achievement of flying a powered aircraft on another planet - especially one with as thin of air and atmosphere as Mars - can not be understated.

But at precisely 3:34 a.m. ET on Monday, NASA successfully conducted a flight from the Martian surface, the first time a controlled, powered aircraft has done so on another planet.

Parked about 64.3 m (211 feet) away during Ingenuity's historic first flight, the Perseverance rover not only acted as a communications relay between the helicopter and Earth, but also chronicled the flight operations with its cameras.

Ingenuity quickly sent back a black-and-white image from its downward pointing navigation camera, showing its bug-like shadow cast on the surface. You're watching video of the #MarsHelicopter's first flight - a true "Wright brothers" moment.

The first powered flight on Earth was achieved by Orville and Wilbur Wright in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A small piece of fabric from the Wright Brothers' aircraft is carried on board Ingenuity.

Now, NASA will work on unpacking the data to glean more insights from the flight, and get back more photos and video of the helicopter during its ascent, hover and landing.

"We can say human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet", MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL, said after the success of the flight was announced. "We don't know exactly where Ingenuity will lead us, but today's results indicate the sky - at least on Mars - may not be the limit".

The helicopter, called Ingenuity, traveled almost 300 million miles to the red planet tucked inside the belly of the Perseverance rover.

Nasa hopes Ingenuity - a technology demonstration separate from Perseverance's primary mission to search for traces of ancient microorganisms - paves the way for aerial surveillance of Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus or Saturn's moon, Titan. While the project considered updating the flight software to correct the problem, they elected instead to adjust the timing of commands, concluding from testing that it would allow the helicopter to take off 85% of the time.

April has certainly become the month of Ingenuity on Mars.



Latest news

Biden: Surge in Illegal Immigration Along Border Is a 'Crisis'
According to Biden , the "problem was the refugee part was working on the crisis that ended up at the border with young people ". Biden said in the order that the number "remains justified by humanitarian concerns and is otherwise in the national interest".

Indianapolis FedEx Shooting Suspect Used 2 Assault Rifles He Purchased Legally
Dig deeper: Read a statement from Indianapolis-area Sikh houses of worship about the effect of the shooting on their community. The FBI said agents had questioned Hole past year after his mother called police to say her son might commit "suicide by cop".

Hospitals turning away COVID patients despite bed availability will face action: Kejriwal
The death toll increased to 1,78,769 with a record 1,619 daily new fatalities, the data updated at 8 am showed. Now only 1,800 of 10,000 central government hospital beds are reserved for Covid patients, he said.

Three people are dead amid an active shooter incident in Austin, Texas
There were also several ambulances and two SWAT trucks at the scene, as well as two police helicopters and a drone overhead. Three people were killed Sunday afternoon in Austin , Texas, in what police say is still an "active" shooting.

United States and China are 'committed to cooperating' to tackle climate change
Kerry is in China for meetings with his counterparts until Saturday - the first visit by an official from the new USA administration.

Other news