The NASA’s mars helicopter has finally accomplished a great feat. It finished its first historic flight successfully on Mars. The helicopter later landed back safely.
The first ever controlled flight on Mars happened at 3:34 a.m. ET. While the confirmation of the flight’s accomplishment was reported at 6:46 a.m.
Initially, the flight was scheduled for Sunday, April 11. However, plans changed after a command sequence issue was found when the helicopter passed through a system of preflight checks with its software.
After a tweak was made to the command sequence, the team got some data on April 16 indicating that the helicopter safely finished its fast spin test.
According to MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Project manager at JPL, it can now be confirmed that people have flown a helicopter on another planet. In addition to data provided, images released also proved that the flight was indeed a realistic one.
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At first, a lower resolution black and white picture from the helicopter’s navigation camera was provided. Later on, the Perseverance rover released many pictures captured of the helicopter. An image shows the helicopter with its blades in motion.
The team also released the full video of the flight. This was recorded by the Perseverance rover. The Ingenuity flew for close to 40 seconds on Monday. The helicopter rose up to 3 meters while it spun up its two 4 foot blades.
According to the statement by Steve Jurczyk, the acting NASA Administrator, this NASA’s mars helicopter is the newest in a long and storied culture of the NASA projects to accomplish such a feat. This was considered impossible before this period.
He said that there is the belief that there won’t be a limitation to the accomplishment of the flight from henceforth through the exploration that happened.