"Yesterday at 9pm Australian Eastern standard time, the Ingenuity helicopter —
which landed on Mars with the Perseverance rover in February — took off from
the Martian surface. More importantly, it hovered for about 30 seconds, three
metres above the surface and came right back down again.
It may not sound like a huge feat, but it is. Ingenuity’s flight is the first
powered flight of an aircraft on another planet. It marks a milestone in the
story of human space exploration.
While the Apollo 11 spacecraft famously touched down on the Moon, upon
re-launch it simply had to exit the Moon’s gravity and return to Earth. To
sustain flight within the environment of a world with no atmosphere, however,
is a different story.
The now historic Ingenuity helicopter took six years to make. We can understand
why, once we understand the complexities of what was required."
Share and enjoy,
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics