Nasa makes history as it flies small helicopter on Mars
NASA’S Ingenuity Mars helicopter has completed the first powered, controlled flight on another planet, the space agency has announced. The small helicopter successfully took flight on the red planet yesterday, hovering in the air at about 10 feet, before descending and touching back down on the Martian surface.
The message “Ingenuity has performed its first flight – the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet” was met by cheers and applause at mission control. MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said: “We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet.”
She added: “We’ve been talking for so long about our Wright brothers moment. And here it is.”
The aircraft is part of a technology demonstration – a project that aims to test a new capability for the first time. Ingenuity arrived at the Jezero Crater on February 18 after an eight-month journey spanning nearly 300 million miles.