NASA’s Mars helicopter makes first controlled, powered flight beyond Earth

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Ingenuity, NASA’s Mars helicopter, has made history with the first controlled flight on another planet.

NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labratory confirmed the news just before 6 a.m. Monday, tweeting the following:

“Perseverance got us to Mars. With Ingenuity, we soar higher. The Mars Helicopter made history today by being the first craft to achieve controlled, powered flight on a planet beyond Earth.”

After six years of development, the first aircraft to take flight on another planet set sail from Mars early Monday morning.

NASA’s helicopter, called Ingenuity, took off at 5:15 a.m. CST.

You can re-watch the epic flight from NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website. NASA will also live stream on multiple agency social media platforms, including the JPL YouTube and Facebook channels.

Ingenuity arrived at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18. It was attached to the underside of NASA’s Perseverance rover.

The Mars rover provided extra support during the flight operation and took images while collecting environmental data. The rover also hosts the base station that “enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth,” NASA said.

The helicopter was initially set to take off on April 11, but the flight was delayed due to a timing glitch in the helicopter’s systems.

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