Since Perseverance successfully stepped on Martian soil, many of us have enthusiastically followed each advance, each photo, each curiosity and even each sound. Although today the leading role is taken Ingenuity, the little helicopter that he was sent with Perseverance and that he has managed to fly.
From Ingenuity we tell you some details about the technology that composes it (and the triumph of Open Source that in a way it supposes, by the way). After planning it for April 11, it was finally today April 19 when this important test was carried out within this experimental mission.
A small elevation, a great historical landmark
Flying on Mars is complicated and the team, as with these events, was not sure that everything would go well, despite the fact that the design of the small helicopter was thought to the millimeter so that none of the Martian environmental conditions would distort the test. And so it has been, after hours of waiting for the parameters and images, We have seen how Ingenuity has flown (and the team has exploded in excitement and celebration).
A red-letter day on the Red Planet! #MarsHelicopter pic.twitter.com/Qow8JwhYEo
– NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 19, 2021
You wouldn’t believe what I just saw.
More images and video to come…#MarsHelicopterhttps://t.co/PLapgbHeZU pic.twitter.com/mbiOGx4tJZ
– NASA’s Perseverance Mars Rover (@NASAPersevere) April 19, 2021
Like NASA’s JPL has confirmed, has been the first human-built object that flies (in a controlled way) on another planet. Thus, the small helicopter has flown a few meters, being recorded by his companion Perseverance, and capturing the snapshot that heads this article and which, in turn, was one of the main proofs that the maneuver was carried out correctly (it is his shadow).
It was a flight of about 3 meters over the surface of Mars that lasted about 40 seconds. A small test flight that has been a go-ahead to continue using Ingenuity to scrutinize the planet together with Perseverance and which also suggests that it could be a starting point for new ways of moving the vehicles that we can send in the future and avoid certain limitations of rovers.
Mind you, the role of Ingenuity is not so much exploration per se or scientific experiments. Those are Perseverance tasks, while your main goal are the flight tests. So we will continue to monitor the rest of the progress that this mission brings us, either by land or by air.