Monday, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet.
The Ingenuity team at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover at 6:46 a.m. EDT (3:46 a.m. PDT).
“Ingenuity is the latest in a long and storied tradition of NASA projects achieving a space exploration goal once thought impossible,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The X-15 was a pathfinder for the space shuttle. Mars Pathfinder and its Sojourner rover did the same for three generations of Mars rovers. We don’t know exactly where Ingenuity will lead us, but today’s results indicate the sky – at least on Mars – may not be the limit.”
In this video captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover, the agency’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took the first powered, controlled flight on another planet on April 19, 2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
More than two months after taking office, President Joe Biden has offered a first look at his budget priorities, and the signs for NASA are generally promising.
The administration today (April 9) unveiled a so-called “skinny budget” for fiscal year 2022, which begins on Oct. 1. Biden’s proposed budget requests $24.7 billion for NASA, a $1.5 billion increase from 2021. The skinny budget represents only top-line budget items, a traditional practice for the first year of a new presidential administration because of how the inauguration and Congress’ budgetary calendar align.
The first helicopter on Mars is officially on Martian soil.
NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity touched down on the surface of the Red Planet after being dropped by its mother ship, the Perseverance rover, the space agency announced late Saturday (April 3). The helicopter’s first flight is just over a week away.
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Scheduled to launch this Halloween, the James Webb Space Telescope will peer back in time billions of years to unlock some of the greatest secrets in the universe. Telescope scientists Heidi Hammel and Matt Mountain share their insights into the coolest space telescope ever.