Remember, Perseverance? The Mars rover whose job is to seek ancient signs of life and collect samples? The Mars helicopter, Ingenuity is a technology demo to test powered flight in space. It was attached to the belly of the Perseverance spacecraft. Once Perseverance had reached a suitable location, it released Ingenuity so that it could perform a series of test flights for 30 days. 


Ingenuity’s first flight took place on the 19th of April and was successful. It managed to climb about 3 metres for its first flight, hover briefly, managed a turn, and then landed. It is a MAJOR milestone; The first flight in any world beyond Mars. The helicopter has also managed more successful test flights each one, slowly increasing the altitude at which it climbs and the distance, after its initial test flight. 


Now that Ingenuity has now proven that powered, control flight is possible on the Red Planet, it will begin a new mission to explore how aerial scouting could be beneficial to future explorations. This next stage will start once the helicopter has completed its next two flights successfully. The decision to add another demonstration was made due to the fact that Perseverance is ahead of schedule and so adding this demonstration will not significantly affect the rover’s timetable


Once Ingenuity completes its technology demonstration, Perseverance will continue the scientific aspect of its mission.