Just weeks after landing the rover Perseverance on the surface of Mars, NASA is back at it again. In a test run earlier today from NASA mission control, the Ingenuity helicopter took flight on the surface of Mars. Ingenuity becomes the first-ever rotorcraft to be piloted on a different planet, allowing NASA to make history once again this year.
The aerospace organization hosted a livestream earlier today that allowed the denizens of Earth to watch along with mission control as the test flight occurred. Ingenuity was transported to Mars inside the Perseverance rover that touched down back in February.
The test occurred around 3:30 a.m. ET. Mission control for Ingenuity was headquartered at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The flight was supposed to occur on April 11, but plans had to be altered when a command-sequence issue was discovered after the helicopter went through a system of preflight diagnostics with its software. Mission control received data on April 16 showing that the helicopter successfully completed its rapid spin test after employing a command sequence alteration.
This is one small step for man and one giant leap for all those drones out there who dream of one day living amongst the stars.