NASA successfully flies a helicopter on Mars

2021-04-19 at 17:33

The American space agency has successfully flown a small helicopter on Mars.

The drone, called Ingenuity, was airborne for less than a minute, but Nasa is celebrating what represents the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft on another world.

Confirmation came via a satellite at Mars which relayed the chopper’s data back to Earth.

The space agency is promising more adventurous flights in the days ahead.

Ingenuity will be commanded to fly higher and further as engineers seek to test the limits of the technology.

“We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet,” said a delighted MiMi Aung, project manager for Ingenuity at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

“We’ve been talking for so long about our Wright Brothers moment on Mars, and here it is.”

This is a reference to Wilbur and Orville Wright who conducted the first powered, controlled aircraft flight here on Earth in 1903.

BBC