NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ingenuity Takes First Flight on Mars

In a historic first, Ingenuity successfully flew on the Red Planet. The Mars helicopter was in the air for about 40 seconds.

April 19, 2021

The first ever powered flight on another planet was completed by Ingenuity on Monday, April 19, 2021. The 4-pound helicopter lifted off from the surface of the Jezero crater at 12:34A ET and hovered about 10 feet off the ground. At 6:15A ET, NASA and JPL received data from Ingenuity that the flight was a success.

During the helicopter’s flight, Ingenuity captured images 30 times per second. Once it landed, the flight data was sent to JPL through Perseverance. The Mars rover watched the historic moment from an overlook about 215 feet away from the helicopter. Ingenuity could fly up to four more times in the next few weeks.

The Martian airfield used by Ingenuity was named after the Wright Brothers. In 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright performed the first flight on Earth with their powered aircraft. They built the first successful airplane in history. The Wright flyer was in the air for 12 seconds.

Orville Wright makes the first powered, controlled flight on Earth as his brother Wilbur looks on in this image taken at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on Dec. 17, 1903. Orville covered 120 feet in 12 seconds during the first flight. The Wright brothers made four flights that day, each longer than the last.

Photo by: Library of Congress/NASA

Library of Congress/NASA

Orville Wright makes the first powered, controlled flight on Earth as his brother Wilbur looks on in this image taken at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, on Dec. 17, 1903. Orville covered 120 feet in 12 seconds during the first flight. The Wright brothers made four flights that day, each longer than the last.

The helicopter’s second flight is scheduled for no earlier than April 22.

Meet Ingenuity: NASA’s First Mars Helicopter

Perseverance with Ingenuity strapped to its belly launched on July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Mars Rover and Mars Helicopter safely landed on the dusty surface at 3:55P ET on February 18, 2021, after traveling nearly 292.5 million miles.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Has Landed on Mars

After a harrowing landing and traveling nearly 292.5 million miles, NASA's Perseverance with Ingenuity touched down on Mars at 3:55P ET today, February 18, 2021.Congratulations to the teams at NASA and JPL. We cannot wait to see what research comes from this incredible mission.Experience more Mars on discovery+. Download and subscribe to stream NASA Mars Landing: Inside the Mission and When We Left Earth.

Next Up

Meet Ingenuity: NASA’s First Mars Helicopter

Perseverance with Ingenuity strapped to its belly launched on July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The Mars Rover and Mars Helicopter safely landed on the dusty surface at 3:55P ET on February 18, 2021, after traveling nearly 292.5 million miles.

Countdown to the Mars Rover Landing

The Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover and Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, are closer to Mars than ever before as touch down at the Jezero crater is scheduled for February 18, 2021. Let’s take a look back at its launch and learn how it will land on the Red Planet.

Mars is Getting International

Things are getting a little crowded at the red planet.

NASA is using Navajo Language to Name Rocks and Soil on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance team is working in tandem with the Navajo Nation to use their native language in defining rocks and soil found on Mars. 50 words have been approved to name these landmarks.

Celebrate the I Heart Pluto Festival, An Ode to the Beloved Planet

Yes, we said "planet." Clyde Tombaugh discovered Pluto at Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona during the month of February in 1930.Last year on the 90th Anniversary of the discovery, the observatory held its first I Heart Pluto Festival. This year you can be a part of the action.

How Common are Water Worlds in the Galaxy?

If Kevin Costner wanted to make a sequel, he’s got plenty of opportunities. Water is by far the most common molecule in the universe. It’s made of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. Hydrogen is element number 1 (both on the period table and in abundance), and has been hanging around since the first 15 minutes of the Big Bang. Oxygen is forged in the hearts of sun-like stars, and spreads around when those stars die and turn themselves inside out. And since sun-like stars are also very popular, oxygen gets quite a boost.

It’s Time to Return to the Land of the Ice Giants

30 years--It’s been over 30 years since the Voyager 2’s historic flyby of Uranus and Neptune, the outermost and most mysterious planets in the solar system. It’s time to go back.

NASA’s Perseverance Rover Has Landed on Mars

After a harrowing landing and traveling nearly 292.5 million miles, NASA's Perseverance with Ingenuity touched down on Mars at 3:55P ET today, February 18, 2021.Congratulations to the teams at NASA and JPL. We cannot wait to see what research comes from this incredible mission.Experience more Mars on discovery+. Download and subscribe to stream NASA Mars Landing: Inside the Mission and When We Left Earth.

Why Charting the Most Extreme Objects in the Solar System Matters

So the astronomers called it “FarFarOut”, which is mostly a joke because the last time they found such a distant object it they nicknamed it “FarOut”, and this new world is much, much, farther out.

NASA and SpaceX are Going on a Date, and We're All Invited

Save the date--On May 27th, if everything goes as planned, a rocket will launch from Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. Watch SPACE LAUNCH LIVE: AMERICA RETURNS TO SPACE on Discovery and Science Channel starting at 2P ET.
Related To: