D.he enthusiasm in the NASA control room in Pasadena was great. The small helicopter “Ingenuity” took off successfully on Monday morning for its first flight on Mars. The start, which had already been postponed several times, took place around 9:30 a.m. German time. It was the first flight of an aircraft on another planet. The data and thus the confirmation of the successful solo flight arrived shortly before 1 p.m. in the control room of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
As the American space agency announced, the drone, which weighs around 1.8 kilograms, climbed to a height of a few meters on its first test flight and stayed there for a few seconds before landing safely back on the surface of Mars. Now the surface of the red planet can also be explored from the air, explained the researchers of the project.
On Mars it is cold down to minus 90 degrees at night
The first flight of the small helicopter, which landed aboard the rover “Perseverance” on Mars in February, was originally planned for April 11th, but was then postponed to April 14th and then again due to technical problems . At the weekend, conditions on Mars seemed ideal to give the green light for the maiden flight.
The flight was considered a tricky one, because the helicopter has to defy extreme conditions on Mars: on the Red Planet, it is up to minus 90 degrees at night. In addition, the gravitational pull of the planet is less and the atmosphere is much thinner.
#Mars #drone #Ingenuity #solo #flight #Mars