NASA successfully flew its tiny helicopter Ingenuity on Mars, the first powered flight on another planet and a feat a top engineer called “our Wright brothers’ moment.” Data and images from the autonomous flight were transmitted 173 million miles (278 million kilometres) back to Earth where they were received by NASA’s array of ground antennas and processed more than three hours later.
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About the Ingenuity:
- Ingenuity was on autopilot for its entire flight, out of sight, direct control, or contact with the men and women on Earth who had ordered it aloft—because radio signals take too long to travel between the planets for any human operator to intervene.
- The mini 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) copter even carried a bit of wing fabric from the Wright Flyer that made similar history at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1903.
Important takeaways for all competitive exams:
- Acting Administrator of NASA: Steve Jurczyk.
- Headquarters of NASA: Washington D.C., United States.
- NASA Founded: 1 October 1958.