Six attempts to make the first flight to Mars were eventually paid for by NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) after its Mars Ingenuity helicopter successfully flew over the planet’s surface and sent images back to Earth on Monday.
The US space agency tweeted a short video of the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) team cheering with enthusiasm. “We’ve been talking for a long time about our Wright brothers. And here it is,” said MiMi Aung, Mars Helicopter Project Manager, as she thanked the NASA JPL team.
NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter spacecraft rotates at an average of 2,500 cycles per minute (RPM) while the helicopters around the world rotate at only 400-500 RPM, the space station said. “We are still a long way from that very important detail, and the expectations are very constructive in the room … we are all here to support each other,” said Taryn Bailey, a JPL engineer.
Meanwhile, NASA Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said the “first international airport” would be known as Wright Brothers Field, as a tribute to the new cyclists who were informed about the invention of the aircraft.
“It’s important to have the magnitude of the atmosphere in terms of human exploration of Mars, which we are dreaming about, still,” Zurbuchen said, explaining that data from Ingenuity Helicopter will help in the forthcoming NASA Artemis mission to Mars.
NASA also said that the success of the Mars Helicopter flight proved that navigation and control from the surface of another planet were possible, adding that it “takes” a little ingenuity, patience and air “to make that opportunity a reality.