NASA released a video of the helicopter, Ingenuity, in action in the atmosphere of the red planet. Its maiden flight was in style, lifting off the dust of the surface with the SUV-sized Perseverance Rover recording the video from some distance.
It lifted 10 feet off the ground and continued spinning its blades to keep mid-air for a span of 30 seconds, and landed back safely on the rocky surface below.
The short flight of the NASA’s bird, Ingenuity, taking off for the first time will be written in records, even if it is not that big of a deal. Why? Because it’s the first-ever flight on the red planet that gives this mission great significance.
The small-sized helicopter with two rotor blades on top is the only friend to the Perseverance Rover on Mars. It weighs only 4 pounds and is 19 inches in its length.
Taking off for the first time even with the lightweight body and 62 percent lesser gravitational pull on Mars was a difficult feat for the bird, thanks to the atmospheric pressure of the red planet. But now that it has made its first run is configured better to best suit the conditions for easy lift-offs.
The successful takeoff and stability in the Ingenuity’s flight is a landmark achieved by NASA in collaboration with JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory). Thanks to the Perseverance Rover, that recorded the “first-ever takeoff on another planet” using its Mastcam-Z imager. The Mars Rover dropped off Ingenuity at sight and got to the position wherefrom it recorded the video.
The fun part to watch in the video was when Ingenuity twice forced a cloud of dust on the Martian surface while taking off and before landing back to the rocky surface below.