The Ingenuity Helicopter has completed its historic flight on Mars and safely landed back on the surface. According to NASA’s, the mission was a successful journey and we can expect a few new expeditions on the Red Planet. The first powered, controlled flight on another planet took place at 3.34 a.m. EDT.
Unlike when the helicopter’s fellow traveler, the Perseverance rover, landed on Mars on February 18, there was a bit of wait to know how the helicopter fared in its attempt. The Ingenuity Helicopter team was in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. There they received data to analyze and get results from Ingenuity’s first attempt early Monday morning.
The chopper autonomously flew through the thin Martian atmosphere, with no help from its teams on Earth. Images, in addition to the data, also helped the team confirm that the flight was successful. A lower-resolution black-and-white image from the helicopter’s navigation camera appeared first. The Perseverance rover has already returned several images of the helicopter it had captured.
“We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet,” said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL. “We’ve been talking about our Wright brothers’ moment on another planet for so long. And now, here it is.”