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Mars drone makes successful first test flight

Mars drone, Ingenuity makes successful first test flight

The Mars drone, Ingenuity has successfully completed its first short test flight. That reports the American space agency NASA. It is the first time that a drone has flown on another planet. The aircraft rose to a height of a few meters and then descended to the surface again. Mission leadership speaks of a “Wright Brothers moment.”

Mars drone, Ingenuity makes successful first test flight

The test flight did not last very long, and the drone did not cover a significant distance. That was not the intention either: for this first flight, only getting off the bottom was on the agenda. In addition, no control from the earth was possible: Ingenuity had to perform the flight completely autonomously.

Last week, NASA decided to postpone the first test flight due to problems with the flight control software. It was considered to provide the drone with new software from earth, but that turned out not to be necessary. The flight was observed from a safe distance by the Perseverance rover. Video images are still being forwarded.

“Wright Brothers Moment”

“We can now say that humanity has managed to fly a rotorcraft around another planet. We’ve been talking about a “Wright Brothers moment” for so long. Now the time has come! ”, Says MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL.

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This article first appeared on Dronewatch.nl and is written by Wiebe de Jager who is also a DroneXL contributor.

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Wiebe de Jager

Wiebe de Jager (@wdejager) is the founder of Dronewatch and author of several bestselling books about drone photography. Wiebe is a certified drone pilot and has a full ROC license.

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