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April 20, 2021

Simply Extraordinary: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Flies

The Solar-Powered Helicopter First Became Airborne At 0334 EDT

Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 0646 EDT. “Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk.

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HAI Celebrates 1st Interplanetary Helicopter Flight

HAI Gives Itself Temporary Name Change To Honor Flight

Helicopter Association Interplanetary (HAI) is thrilled to acknowledge the inaugural flight of the Mars helicopter, marking the first powered, controlled flight of any aircraft on another planet. The tiny rotorcraft, named Ingenuity, made a very brief flight on the red planet, approximately 178 million miles from Earth. In a flight lasting about 30 seconds, the tandem-rotor aircraft lifted to a height of about 10 feet, then turned to take a picture of the Perseverance Rover before settling back onto the Martian soil.  Now that Ingenuity has made a successful flight, this technology demonstrator mission could lead to larger aircraft and more robust missions.

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