CAPE CAÑAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA’s Mars Helicopter completes first controlled flight over Mars on Monday, lifting off dusty red surfaces.
This victory was compared to the achievement of the Wright brothers. In fact, the tiny 4-pound device known as the ingenuity took away a wing cloth from the historic Wright plane in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
“Altimeter data confirm that the first aircraft to fly on another planet, Ingenuity, made its first aircraft,” said helicopter chief pilot Howard Grab, whose voice broke as his comrades exploded in Sears.
Flight controllers in California briefly confirmed the flight after receiving data from a diligent vehicle parked safely at a distance of 65 meters (200 feet). When it came to the ancient river delta last February, the ingenuity traveled to Mars with diligence attached to the underside of the vehicle.
The Million 85 million prototype was seen as a high-risk project, but with the potential for great rewards.
“Every world has only one first flight,” Ang said this month. Speaking on a NASA broadcast Monday morning, he described it as “the ultimate dream.”
Ang and his crew had to wait more than three hours to find out if the pre-planned flight had covered 287 million kilometers (178 million miles). Adding to his concern, a software bug prevented the helicopter from taking off a week ago, forcing engineers to look for a solution.
When the victory was finally announced the operational center exploded with applause, cheers and laughter. When the first black and white image of brilliance appeared on their screens, it was even more so when it showed its shadow on the surface of Mars. The stunning color pictures of the helicopter landed on the surface again, taken diligently, “the best host is the little ingenuity you can never dream of,” Ang said.
NASA had planned the flight for 40 seconds, although initially there were some details: the aircraft fulfilled all its objectives: launch, takeoff, flight, landing and landing.