19 April 2021

Video of the day -- Ingenuity flies

It doesn't look like much -- just lifting three meters into the air, rotating, and then landing again -- but this is the first achievement of powered flight on another planet.  It's all the more remarkable given that the Martian atmosphere is only one-hundredth as dense as Earth's, and that the machine needed to operate autonomously -- radio signals take several minutes to travel from Earth to Mars, so humans here could not control it in real time.  Ingenuity is paving the way for what will hopefully become the regular use of autonomous robot aircraft in the exploration of other worlds.

The scene at JPL in California as the data from the first flight came in:


Blogger Debra She Who Seeks said...

It's nice to see them celebrating!

19 April, 2021 18:23  
Blogger Mike said...

I love that she had a 'failure script' ready to go. Glad she didn't have to use it.

19 April, 2021 23:40  
Blogger Sixpence Notthewiser said...

It's a fantastic achievement. Love science.
Their joy is palpable. Can you imagine how many hours of work went into this?


20 April, 2021 06:07  
Anonymous Annie said...

Truly awe-inspiring: Ingenuity, indeed. And among the amazing achievements is the fact that it takes “several minutes” for the information to be conveyed. I’m still stuck in the “light-years” mindset. This is in “real time”!

22 April, 2021 20:10  

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