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The Epic Flight – Ingenuity, The Mars Helicopter
History is made on April 19, 2021. Almost two hundred million miles away from Earth, Ingenuity (The Mars Helicopter) succeeded to fly on its own, in thin and difficult to fly Martian atmosphere. View the video to learn amazing facts about Ingenuity – The Mars Helicopter.
Series: Space Multimedia
Ingenuity’s flight is the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet. Carrying a piece of fabric from Wright Brothers’ airplane, Ingenuity has created a history and paved way for the future aerial flights on Mars and beyond .
Ingenuity weighs just around 4 lbs (1.8 kilograms) and stands at 19 inches which makes the flying task easier in Mars’ thin atmosphere [2,3]. The twin rotor blades are about 1.2 meters (4 feet) and spin in opposite direction at around 2,400 rpm, significantly higher than normal helicopters that rotate with the speed of 250-600 rpm [2,3].
Ingenuity is solar powered with attached rechargeable batteries, but a considerable amount of energy is spent in keeping Ingenuity warm as the temperature of Martian nights can dip to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius) . Ingenuity’s flight was autonomous and through advanced commands as communication delay is common while working with spacecrafts. With helicopter’s success in first test flight, now more test flights will be attempted .
The name Ingenuity was proposed by high school student Vaneeza Rupani for Perseverance rover, but due to the creativity implemented in this drone, NASA scientist perceived the name fitting the helicopter better .
Congratulations National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL), and NASA Ames Research Center (NASA ARC) and MARS2020 Mission team on this remarkable achievement!
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Authors of this content thank all the scientists, engineers, and organizations who are involved in current MARS2020 mission and previous space missions, inspired by whom this content is developed.
Graphics by Priyanka Bhure (MS)
Storyline and video created by using licensed platform by Akhilesh Kumar (PhD, PPM), Poonam Maurya (MCA) & Amir Hussain (MS)
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NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Prepares for First Flight. NASA Press Release. 2021.
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter – Quick Facts. Landing Press Kit. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL). 2021.
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter – Mission . Landing Press Kit. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (NASA JPL). 2021.
Alabama High School student names NASA’s Mars helicopter. NASA News. 2020.
Cite this Content: Bhure P, Hussain A, Maurya P, Soni B, Kumar A. The Epic Flight - Ingenuity, The Mars Helicopter. Qualiten Insight. 2021; ID:09007000006
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