NASA Ingenuity Helicopter makes historic flight

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has successfully become the first aircraft in history to fly in another planet.

Ingenuity Helicopter

  • The helicopter was carried by the Perseverance Mars rover. Perseverance rover is a part of the Mars 2020 mission. The Mars 2020 was launched on Atlas V launch vehicle.
  • The success message of the flight of the helicopter was received through the Perseverance rover. Perseverance Rover acted as the medium of communication throughout the flight of Ingenuity.
  • It is a solar powered helicopter.
  • During the flight, Ingenuity reached a maximum height of ten feet (three metres). It also maintained a stable hover for thirty seconds at that height.
  • The total time of the flight was 39.1 seconds.
  • Ingenuity was parked at about 64.3 metres from the Perseverance rover and was well communicated.
  • The flight of Ingenuity was not recorded in real time due to the distance between the Mars and the Earth. The data between the control station in the earth and perseverance rover was sent and received through the Deep Space Network of NASA.

Deep Space Network

The Deep Space Network, also called the DSN of NASA is an international array of giant radio antennas. It supports interplanetary space missions. It is operated by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.

The DSN is located in three different locations. The locations are spaced at 120 degrees apart in longitude around the world. The antennas of the network are located in Madrid (Spain), Goldstone (California) and Canberra (Australia).

The sites have been chosen in such a way that they permit constant communication between NASA and spacecraft. Also, the sites have been selected in such a way that the next site takes over before previous site sinks below the horizon of the spacecraft.

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