NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

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FILE – This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars which was attached to the bottom of the Perseverance rover, background left. It will be the first aircraft to attempt controlled flight on another planet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) – NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter has taken flight. The little 4-pound helicopter named Ingenuity rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet.

Ground controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California announced the news after receiving and reviewing the data. It took three hours for the news to reach Earth via the Perseverance rover and a satellite around Mars, 178 million miles away. The helicopter arrived at Mars in February, clinging to Perseverance’s belly.

(Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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