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NASA’s Mars helicopter succeeds in historic first flight

20 April 2021 09:43 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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WASHINGTON AFP, 19 April, 2021-  NASA successfully flew its tiny helicopter Ingenuity on Mars early Monday, the first powered flight on another planet and a feat a top engineer called “our Wright brothers’ moment.” At 3:34 am Eastern Time (0734 GMT), the four pound rotorcraft lifted off, hovered 10 feet above the Martian surface, then came back to rest after 39.1 seconds.   


Data and images from the autonomous flight were transmitted 173 million miles back to Earth where they were received by NASA’s array of ground antennas and processed more than three hours later.   


Engineers were tensely watching their screens at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, where the mission had been designed and planned for the past six years.  They broke into applause as one of them read off a checklist of tasks Ingenuity had achieved and concluded: “Ingenuity has performed its first flight -- the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet.”  

 

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