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Ingenious fly

Ingenious fly

Imagine that you are flying your drone on a planet 180 million kilometres away. It takes 20 minutes for your command to reach the planet – and the pictures you see of what is happening are 20 minutes old. You cannot take evasive or corrective action if anything goes wrong, it would take too late. This is the type of situation that the NASA's engineers did not wish to experience on the first flight of the "Ingenuity" helicopter on Mars on April 19.


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Engineering marvel

Engineering marvel

Even though gravity of Mars is 1/3rd of Earth's which helped to offset the effect of the much lower atmospheric pressure (about 6 mbar). But even so, Ingenuity’s blades had to rotate at 2400 RPM (compared to 500 RPM on Earth) to provide the required lift for the 2 kg craft.

Just achieving ...


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Rise of Rotor Blades

Rise of Rotor Blades

Ingenuity apparently carried on board a small piece of canvas from the Wright brothers’ aeroplane, the Wright Flyer. It was, clearly, an excellent token for success for th...


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The Success🎉🎉

All the planning and calculations paid off. Just after 12 pm British Summer Time, a NASA engineer announced to mission control that “all data sets are nominal”. This, of course, is space-talk for: “We are incredibly happy, everything has gone well”. A few minutes later, ...


50 reads

What Ingenuity can't do !

Ingenuity does not have the rear rotor blades of a conventional helicopter for “steering” – and, as mentioned, commands cannot be given in real-time. Each flight will be as nail-biting as the first.


39 reads

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NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity makes history

NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity makes history

  • On 19 April 2021, NASA's helicopter Ingenuity took its first flight on Mars. A video, taken by the Perseverance rover, showed its entire flight, from take-off to landing.
  • Ingenuity rose about three metres above the ground before landing again. The 40 seconds in the air was of a sim...

The importance if Ingenuity's flight

Ingenuity's flight is a technology and engineering achievement.

  • Flight requires lift. On Earth, with an average air pressure of 1000 millibar, a helicopter blade spins at a rate of 400 to 500 rotations per minute to create lift. On Mars, gravity is about one-third of Earth. Ingenuity...


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