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Mars helicopter: Watch the historic moment NASA's Ingenuity leaps from the surface of Mars

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A video from NASA’s Perseverance Rover, which was stationed tens of metres away, shows the hop from Ingenuity. In the video, one can see the small helicopter jump into the air before touching down.

Ingenuity was only in the air for less than a minute, completing lift off, hover and land.

The Ingenuity helicopter span its propellers at 24,000 RPM to lift off on the morning of April 19.

On Earth, helicopters have an RPM of around 400, but more is needed on Mars as the atmosphere is so thin – just one percent that of Earth’s.

As the video was received by ground control, the room erupted into cheers as engineers celebrated the historic moment.

MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), said: “We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet.”

NASA has said the main reason of the test-flight was a ‘proof of concept’ to show that flights on other planets, such as Mars which only has an atmosphere just one percent that of Earth, could be achieved.

By doing so, it opens the door to countless discoveries, according to Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s Associate Administrator for the science mission directorate.

READ MORE: Life on Mars planned as studio designs first city on the Red Planet

“It is supported by NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate, and Space Technology Mission Directorate.

“NASA’s Ames Research Center and Langley Research Center provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity’s development.

NASA will hold a briefing in the evening of April 19.

There, the space agency will discuss the data from the flight as well as talking the public through the briefing.



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