Published: 20th April 2021
What the FAQ: What is NASA's Ingenuity and how did it create history?
On Monday, NASA's helicopter Ingenuity hovered around the Martian surface. We tell you why it is historic
History has been made. To be precise, it was made on Monday, when NASA's Ingenuity, a small robotic helicopter hovered around Mars. Now why is this historic, you may ask. We explain it to you here:
What is ingenuity?
Ingenuity is a helicopter that was launched on July 30, 2020, from the earth. It landed on Mard on February 18, 2020. It is part of NASA's Mars 2020 mission.
Why is it historic though?
On Monday, Ingenuity took off and flew around the martian surface for a short while, around 39 seconds. It was the first time that a machine that was made on earth flew on another planet.
What does this mean?
Experts consider Ingenuity'sflight similar to that of the Wright Brothers' first aeroplane that revolutionised transportation. If the copter works as expected, NASA may build on its design to extend the aerial component of future Mars missions. Interestingly, it also carries a piece of fabric from the Wright flyer, the Wright brothers' aircraft. Its take-off and landing area are also named after the Wright Brothers. If the mini helicopter works as expected, NASA may build on its design to extend the aerial component of future Mars missions which may even include human inhibition in the planet.