NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California recently celebrated one year since its Ingenuity helicopter became the first aircraft to achieve controlled powered flight on another planet.
The American space agency announced the Ingenuity’s maiden Mars flight on Twitter on April 19, 2021.
The JPL team uploaded a video of the moment 12 months ago when the drone-like aircraft made its inaugural flight.
On April 19, 2021, our #MarsHelicopter made history by completing the first powered flight on another planet. The flight lasted 39.1 seconds. One year later, Ingenuity has logged over 46 minutes aloft and traveled 3.6 miles (5.8 km). See what’s next: https://t.co/sOjNE1g7MR pic.twitter.com/19wyExAXHy
— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2022
NASA describes Ingenuity as a technology demonstration to demonstrate powered, controlled flight on another globe.
It rode on the Perseverance rover to Mars, where it released Ingenuity to complete a series of test flights over a 30-Martian-day trial window.
The helicopter concluded its technology demonstration after three successful flights, the agency said. On April 19, 2021, Ingenuity took off, rose about 10 feet above earth, hovered briefly, turned, and landed. In fact, it was the first powered, controlled flight in any world beyond Earth, NASA stated.
According to the space agency, “the helicopter successfully even performed additional experimental flights of incrementally farther distance and greater altitude,”
So it’s worth noting that the Perseverance rover’s underbelly helicopter took years to develop, build, and test. Since its first flight, the plane has been photographing topography to assist the space agency create safe and efficient pathways for Perseverance.
Now, the JPL team wants to push Ingenuity to its boundaries while keeping it safe.
Courtesy Bol News