Mars Helicopter Flight – We have confirmation, the first ever powered flight on another planet, a liftoff has been confirmed, a hover, and a touchdown again.
And iâ€™ve seen the first images from both the chopper and from the rover confirming that the chopper was up in the air and we have confirmation.
Mars Helicopter Flight
After successfully test-flying a mini helicopter on Mars, NASA is calling the flight a “Wright Brothers moment” on the Red Planet. NBC’s Tom Costello reports for TODAY.
We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet,” MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager, said after the successful flight.
On Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity, a small Mars helicopter, made the first powered flight on another planet.
According to mission control, the 4-pound solar-powered helicopter climbed over the Martian surface, hovered, and then touched down.
The achievement was captured by a photo taken by the helicopter’s onboard navigation camera, which showed Ingenuity casting a shadow above the Martian surface. Following that, a colour video of the flight was released.
NASA has compared the experiment to the Wright brothers’ feat 117 years earlier, having affixed a tiny swath of wing fabric from the original Wright flyer under Ingenuity’s solar panel as a tribute to that humble, but monumental first flight.
Although the flight metrics for Monday’s test flight may seem modest, the “air layer” for the interplanetary test flight is 173 million miles from Earth, on the floor of Jezero Crater, a large Martian basin.
NASA hopes that Ingenuity will pave the way for aerial observation of Mars and other solar system destinations including Venus and Saturn’s moon Titan.
Although Mars’ gravity is much lower than Earth’s, its atmosphere is just 1% as thick as Earth’s, posing a unique challenge for aerodynamic lift.
Engineers compensated by equipping Ingenuity with greater (4-foot-long) and faster-spinning rotor blades than would be needed for an aircraft of its size on Earth.
A mechanical glitch during a simulated rotation of the aircraft’s rotors on April 9 forced the flight to be postponed for a week.
NASA Mars Helicopter Flight
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