The Ingenuity Mini Helicopter Flies Over The Sky Of Mars – Mission Accomplished


April 19, 2021 is a historic day for mankind. The Ingenuity mini helicopter of the NASA Perseverance mission, has successfully made its first flight above the ground of Mars.

NASA's Ingenuity
In this illustration, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter stands on the Red Planet’s surface as NASA’s Perseverance rover (partially visible on the left) rolls away. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

This is the first vehicle in human history to have made a survey flight on another planet. Confirmation of the success of the mission came live from NASA.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will make history’s first attempt at powered flight on another planet next spring. It is riding with the agency’s next mission to Mars (the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover) as it launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station later this summer.
Perseverance, with Ingenuity attached to its belly, will land on Mars February 18, 2021.
Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The drone landed on the Red Planet on NASA’s Perseverance mission on February 18th. Its flight, although short, lasted about 3 minutes, marked a historic moment in space exploration and the development of new technologies. In fact, it is important to point out that the flying and climatic conditions of the planet are certainly not favourable. They are to be considered restrictive temperatures, especially during the night. Also, atmospheric and gravitational structure are completely different from the terrestrial one.

The atmosphere of Mars, due to the low gravity of the planet, is extremely rarefied and completely devoid of the lightest gases. It is also densely rich in dust due to the particular orange/brown colouration typical of the planet. Moreover, it varies dramatically according to the cycle of the seasons. During the Martian winters, for example, the temperature drops to such an extent that the atmosphere condenses and precipitates as frozen carbon dioxide. As temperatures rise, and as frozen carbon dioxide dissolves, strong winds are created that can blow at speeds of over 400 km/h.

The technology employed by the mini helicopter and in general throughout NASA’s Perseverance mission is certainly cutting-edge. Inadvertently opens up a glimpse of hope for advances in space exploration. There are a lot of data collected during this mission. Mankind is waiting to watch more and more content coming from Mars.

Representation of the exploration of Mars – Credit: Nicolas Lobos

What until a few decades ago seemed possible only in science fiction movies now seems to be able to become reality. The data collected during this mission will help scientists to work out the planned human mission to the Red Planet, which is on the agenda for the near future.

We hope to be able to hear again shortly the historic phrase pronounced by Neil Armstrong on July 21, 1969, during his first walk on the moon: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Adriano Margarone for

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