April 19, 2021

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet on April 19, 2021. The Ingenuity team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California determined that the flight was successful after receiving data from both the helicopter and the Perseverance Mars rover.

Ingenuity is a technology demonstration. The 19-inch-tall Ingenuity Mars Helicopter contains no science instruments. Instead, the 4-pound rotorcraft will help determine whether future explorations on Mars could be conducted from the air.

Perseverance touched down at Octavia E. Butler Landing with Ingenuity attached to its belly on Feb. 18. The helicopter was deployed to the surface of Jezero Crater on April 3.

For more information on the Ingenuity, visit: https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/


TRANSCRIPT

[Marina Jurica] Earlier today, Ingenuity should have autonomously performed its first flight attempt on Mars. Now, the team is ready to receive the data that will tell them whether we’ve made history.

[VOCA] This is downlink. We are beginning to see data products.

[VOCA] Rotor motors appear healthy, all actuators appear healthy.

[VOCA] Ingenuity is reporting having performed spin up, take off, climb, hover, descent, landing, touchdown and spin down.

[VOCA] Altimeter data confirmed that Ingenuity has performed its first flight.

[cheers, clapping]

[VOCA] First flight of a powered aircraft on another planet.

[cheers, clapping]

[MiMi Aung] We can now say human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet. Let’s get back to work and more flights! Congratulations!

[cheering]

NASA Logo

Credit

NASA/JPL-Caltech

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