This global event that we all or almost all expected has finally taken place! The first flight in a NASA helicopter over the planet Mars, delayed for a few days, has just been validated and the first images have been revealed.
Ingenuity, the small rotary wing aircraft of just under 2 kilos that was deposited by the Perserverance rover, has just completed its first flight on Mars. It is therefore the first man-made object to achieve controlled motorized flight from the surface of another planet! History? Yes, like its host Perseverance, who landed on Mars on February 22nd.
“You wouldn’t believe what I just saw,” wrote Perseverance’s official Twitter account. Images captured by the rover show the tiny helicopter flying several meters into the Martian air … The rotors in action and at 2,500 rpm, which is much faster than the speed on earth. The ingenuity could float for about 30 seconds and then descend.
Ingenuity’s flight was delayed a week to complete a software update. And Ingenuity gives us a photo from a great height where we can see the dusty soil of the planet Mars. And as proof that the photo was taken by the helicopter, we can see its shadow too!
You wouldn’t believe what I just saw.
More pictures and videos will follow… # MarsHelicopterhttps: //t.co/PLapgbHeZU pic.twitter.com/mbiOGx4tJZ
– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 19, 2021
“The Ingenuity report states that it made a turn, take-off, ascent, hover, descend, land, land, and turn.” These are the words of Håvard Grip, pilot of the Head of Ingenuity at JPL, followed by cheers and applause at the controls. April 19, 2021 will enter the history of the conquest of space with the first flight of a helicopter on Mars!