The US space agency “NASA” announced Monday that its mini-helicopter “Ingenuity” carried out its first sortie in the atmosphere of Mars, in a historic step that was delayed more than a week due to a technical problem.
An engineer from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory confirmed that “the altitude data confirms that Ingenuity carried out the first sortie of an engine-equipped vehicle on another planet,” to applause and shouts of joy.
And NASA published a short video clip of the trip taken by the rover “Perseverance”, which had arrived on board “Ingenuity” to the Red Planet before separation from it.
The clip shows a craft flying at a height of three meters before landing on Mars.
The helicopter itself sent a black and white image showing its shadow over the Red Planet.
“We can now say that humans have succeeded in making a motor vehicle fly over another planet,” said helicopter project leader Mimi Ong with great enthusiasm.
After the flight was scheduled for April 11, it was postponed due to a technical problem that arose during tests on its propellers.
The mission poses a huge challenge, because the density of the air on Mars is equivalent to 1% of that in the atmosphere of the planet.