Mars Helicopter Ingenuity makes history, successfully taking first flight on another planet

On a livestream from mission control early this morning, the Ingenuity team received the very first data confirming the successful flight of Mars Helicopter Ingenuity.

This was the first powered and controlled flight on another planet. The helicopter carried with it a piece from the Wright brothers’ own airplane; an important reminder of the first flight back here on Earth in 1903. Throughout the coming flights, Ingenuity will gather photos of the surface of Mars while Perseverance takes video and photos of the flight. This mission proves that flight on Mars is viable and paves the way forward for future Mars missions to consider flight vehicles as important companions to rovers.

The first image shared from the flight was a downward-looking view from Ingenuity during hover. This black and white camera is primarily used so Ingenuity knows its position over the Martian surface, but provided a great view of the helicopter’s own shadow, as well as the tracks from when Rover…