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Images and Video Show NASA's Helicopter Flying in ‘Wright Brothers Moment' on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech
  • NASA successfully conducted the first flight of an aircraft on another planet.
  • Helicopter Ingenuity flew for 39 seconds above the Martian surface.
  • NASA rover Perseverance captured imagery of the flight after rolling a short distance away, with one of its navigation cameras showing a sequence before, during and after the helicopter's flight.

Here's a look at NASA's historic flight of an aircraft on Mars, a feat the space agency called a "Wright brothers moment."

NASA rover Perseverance captured imagery of the flight after rolling a short distance away, with one of its navigation cameras showing a sequence before, during and after the helicopter's flight.

Video from NASA rover Perseverance shows helicopter Ingenuity spinning up its rovers, hovering, and then landing on Mars.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Video from NASA rover Perseverance shows helicopter Ingenuity spinning up its rovers, hovering, and then landing on Mars.

Ingenuity, which weighs 4 pounds, successfully flew autonomously for 39 seconds.

NASA's Perseverance rover captured helicopter Ingenuity on the surface of Mars on April 18, 2021 before its first flight.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
NASA's Perseverance rover captured helicopter Ingenuity on the surface of Mars on April 18, 2021 before its first flight.
A camera on NASA's Perseverance rover shows helicopter Ingenuity flying above the surface of Mars on April 19, 2021.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
A camera on NASA's Perseverance rover shows helicopter Ingenuity flying above the surface of Mars on April 19, 2021.
NASA helicopter Ingenuity back on the surface of Mars after its first flight on April 19, 2021, captured by a camera on the Perseverance rover.
A camera on NASA's Perseverance rover shows helicopter Ingenuity flying above the surface of Mars on April 19, 2021.
NASA helicopter Ingenuity back on the surface of Mars after its first flight on April 19, 2021, captured by a camera on the Perseverance rover.

NASA announced after the flight that the area on Mars' Jezero Crater where Ingenuity flew will be known as Wright Brothers Field.

Scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California work with Ingenuity during its development, a years-long process that was aided by some of the agency's experts in rotor dynamics.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
Scientists and engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California work with Ingenuity during its development, a years-long process that was aided by some of the agency's experts in rotor dynamics.

The helicopter stands just over 19 inches tall, and was delivered to the surface of Mars by NASA's rover Perseverance.

The Perseverance rover, with the Ingenuity helicopter visible attached underneath, prepared for launch.
NASA/JPL-Caltech
The Perseverance rover, with the Ingenuity helicopter visible attached underneath, prepared for launch.
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