NASA made history today in pulling off the first controlled, powered flight of an aircraft on another planet. The Ingenuity helicopter travelled to the Red Planet attached to the underside of the Perseverance Rover which landed on Mars in February of this year.
Nasa had originally planned the flight for April 11 but a software issue spotted during a planned test of the aircraft’s rotors caused them to postpone until the issue was resolved. The ground team managing the project had to wait more than three hours for data from the Rover to confirm whether or not the flight had been successful.
"We've been talking so long about our Wright brothers' moment on Mars, and here it is," said lead engineer MiMi Aung to her team when the good news came through.
In a nod to the Wright brother’s achievement of the first powered flight on earth in 1903, a small piece of fabric from that plane was tucked inside the helicopter.