Why Ingenuity, the first helicopter to fly to another planet, is such a big deal

Ingenuity is the first helicopter of its kind, because flying on Mars is no small feat.

NASA’s rover, Perseverance, successfully landed on Jezero Crater on Mars on February 18. Hidden safely under the belly of the probe, another engineering marvel called Ingenuity traveled the 200 million km to reach the planet.

Ingenuity is a mini-helicopter that will deploy and perform short flights over the Red Planet in the coming months. If successful, the aerial adventures should create a space story as Ingenuity will be the first airborne vehicle to fly to another planet.

After surviving the rigors of space travel and the excruciating descent to the surface of Mars, Ingenuity called in engineers on the ground on February 20.

NASA reports that the helicopter and its base station – an electrical device on the rover that will oversee communications between Ingenuity and Earth – were both performing as expected.

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