Early Monday afternoon, NASA received confirmation that the first flight of a small helicopter on Mars was successful.
After a week’s delay, the small helicopter took off from the red planet on Monday morning. It took a few hours before NASA received the signals from the flight.
118 years after the first successful motorized flight on Earth, a man-made spacecraft flew on another planet for the first time.
“Each world only gets one first flight,” the project manager MiMi Aung said.
“We can now say that humans have flown a rotor-powered spacecraft on another planet,” Aung added.
The helicopter arrived on Mars with the rover Perseverance in February. It weighs 1.8 kilos and is remotely controlled from the ground by, among others, the Norwegian Håvard Fjær Grip in NASA.
“The only criterion for success for us is whether we manage to fly on Mars for the first time in history,” Håvard Fjær Grip told NTB last year.
The Norwegian works at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Los Angeles, and is a key member of the Ingenuity project.
He sees several ways Ingenuity can be used in the exploration of Mars.
“One can, among other things, start using helicopters to inspect areas for land vehicles that need information about where to drive and find out which areas are most interesting to study,” Grip told NTB.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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