NASA has first successful powered, controlled flight on Mars

Posted at 5:53 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 08:46:28-04

The Ingenuity helicopter had successfully completed its historic flight on Mars.

The first powered, controlled flight on another planet took place at 3:30 a.m.

Data from the first flight returned to Earth a few hours following the autonomous flight.

You can watch Mission Control receive the first images below.

A postflight briefing will be held at 2 p.m.

The participants are:

  • Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA's Science Mission Directorate
  • Michael Watkins, JPL director
  • MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL
  • Bob Balaram, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief engineer at JPL
  • Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief pilot at JPL
  • Justin Maki, Perseverance Mars rover imaging scientist and deputy principal investigator of Mastcam-Z instrument at JPL

The original flight date of April 11 shifted as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue. The Perseverance rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.