The National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) successfully flown a mini-helicopter over planet Mars.
According to the reports, the drone named Ingenuity was airborne for less than a minute, but NASA is celebrating what they achieved first controlled flight by an aircraft on another world.
The authorization came through the satellite at Mars which transmitted the chopper’s data back to Earth.
The US space agency is promising more exploratory flights in the days ahead.
Ingenuity will be commanded to fly higher and further as engineers pursue to test the limits of the technology.
Earlier, NASA’s Perseverance rover, which is currently revolving around Mars has dropped off the mini helicopter Ingenuity.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted Saturday that,
“MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed!”
“Its 293 million miles (471 million kilometers) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 centimeters) from the rover’s belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night.”
A photo that was tweeted showed that the Perseverance had dropped perfectly from the helicopter and its now “airfield” after dropping on the surface. Ingenuity had been feeding off the Perseverance’s power system but will now have to use its own battery to run a vital heater to protect its unshielded electrical components from freezing and cracking during the bitter Martian night.
#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed! Its 293 million mile (471 million km) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the rover’s belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/XaBiSNebua
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 4, 2021
Bob Balaram, Mars Helicopter Project chief engineer wrote in an update on Friday that,
“This heater keeps the interior at about 45 degrees F (7 degrees Celsius) through the bitter cold of the Martian night, where temperatures can drop to as low as -130F (-90 degrees Celsius).”
“That comfortably protects key components such as the battery and some of the sensitive electronics from harm at very cold temperatures.”