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Pictures | Mon Apr 19, 2021 | 10:47am EDT

Robot helicopter Ingenuity takes historic first flight on Mars

The shadow of NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity is seen during its first flight on the planet April 19, 2021. NASA's miniature robot helicopter Ingenuity performed a successful takeoff and landing on Mars, achieving the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft over the surface of another planet, the U.S. space agency said.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

The shadow of NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity is seen during its first flight on the planet April 19, 2021. NASA's miniature robot helicopter Ingenuity performed a successful takeoff and landing on Mars, achieving the first powered, controlled...more

The shadow of NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity is seen during its first flight on the planet April 19, 2021. NASA's miniature robot helicopter Ingenuity performed a successful takeoff and landing on Mars, achieving the first powered, controlled flight by an aircraft over the surface of another planet, the U.S. space agency said. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS
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Ingenuity makes its first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. The twin-rotor whirligig's debut on the Red Planet marked a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment for NASA, which said success could pave the way for new modes of exploration on Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

Ingenuity makes its first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. The twin-rotor whirligig's debut on the Red Planet marked a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment for NASA, which said success could pave the way for new modes of exploration on Mars and...more

Ingenuity makes its first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. The twin-rotor whirligig's debut on the Red Planet marked a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment for NASA, which said success could pave the way for new modes of exploration on Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS
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Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as engineering data beamed back from Mars confirmed that the 4-pound (1.8-kg) solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 39-second flight as planned three hours earlier.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as engineering data beamed back from Mars confirmed that the 4-pound (1.8-kg) solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 39-second...more

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as engineering data beamed back from Mars confirmed that the 4-pound (1.8-kg) solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 39-second flight as planned three hours earlier. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS
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Altimeter readings from the rotorcraft showed that it became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT climbed as programmed to a height of 10 feet, then hovered steadily in place over the Martian surface for half a minute before touching back down safely on its four legs, NASA said.

NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

Altimeter readings from the rotorcraft showed that it became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT climbed as programmed to a height of 10 feet, then hovered steadily in place over the Martian surface for half a minute before touching back down safely on its...more

Altimeter readings from the rotorcraft showed that it became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT climbed as programmed to a height of 10 feet, then hovered steadily in place over the Martian surface for half a minute before touching back down safely on its four legs, NASA said. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS
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The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, react after Ingenuity's first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, react after Ingenuity's first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS

The team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California, react after Ingenuity's first flight on the planet, April 19, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/Handout via REUTERS
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Wheel tread marks are left in the soil of Jezero Crater on Mars, as NASA's Mars rover Perseverance drives on Martian surface for the first time, March 4, 2021. 

NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

Wheel tread marks are left in the soil of Jezero Crater on Mars, as NASA's Mars rover Perseverance drives on Martian surface for the first time, March 4, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

Wheel tread marks are left in the soil of Jezero Crater on Mars, as NASA's Mars rover Perseverance drives on Martian surface for the first time, March 4, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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A tall outcropping of rock, with layered deposits of sediments in the distance, marking a remnant of an ancient, long-vanished river delta in Jezero Crater, are pictured in this undated image taken by NASA's Mars rover Perseverance from its landing site, March 5, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A tall outcropping of rock, with layered deposits of sediments in the distance, marking a remnant of an ancient, long-vanished river delta in Jezero Crater, are pictured in this undated image taken by NASA's Mars rover Perseverance from its landing...more

A tall outcropping of rock, with layered deposits of sediments in the distance, marking a remnant of an ancient, long-vanished river delta in Jezero Crater, are pictured in this undated image taken by NASA's Mars rover Perseverance from its landing site, March 5, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The surface of Mars is seen directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance using the Rover Down-Look Camera as it was lowered to the Martian surface, in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars is seen directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance using the Rover Down-Look Camera as it was lowered to the Martian surface, in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars is seen directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance using the Rover Down-Look Camera as it was lowered to the Martian surface, in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A portion of a panorama made up of individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard NASA's Perseverance Mars rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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NASA's Perseverance rover descends to touch down on Mars, February 18, 2021. The image of the dangling science lab, striking for its clarity and sense of motion, marks the first such close-up photo of a spacecraft landing on Mars, or any planet beyond Earth. The image was taken at the very end of the so-called "seven-minutes-of-terror" descent sequence that brought Perseverance from the top of Mars' atmosphere, traveling at 12,000 miles per hour, to a gentle touchdown on the floor of a vast basin called the Jezero Crater.

 NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

NASA's Perseverance rover descends to touch down on Mars, February 18, 2021. The image of the dangling science lab, striking for its clarity and sense of motion, marks the first such close-up photo of a spacecraft landing on Mars, or any planet...more

NASA's Perseverance rover descends to touch down on Mars, February 18, 2021. The image of the dangling science lab, striking for its clarity and sense of motion, marks the first such close-up photo of a spacecraft landing on Mars, or any planet beyond Earth. The image was taken at the very end of the so-called "seven-minutes-of-terror" descent sequence that brought Perseverance from the top of Mars' atmosphere, traveling at 12,000 miles per hour, to a gentle touchdown on the floor of a vast basin called the Jezero Crater.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is seen after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is seen after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The first high-resolution, color image to be sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of NASA's Perseverance Mars rover is seen after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The deck of NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover, featuring the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), one of the instruments on its stowed arm, is seen in an image taken by the rover's navigation cameras on Mars February 20, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The deck of NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover, featuring the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), one of the instruments on its stowed arm, is seen in an image taken by the rover's navigation cameras on Mars February 20, 2021....more

The deck of NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover, featuring the PIXL (Planetary Instrument for X-ray Lithochemistry), one of the instruments on its stowed arm, is seen in an image taken by the rover's navigation cameras on Mars February 20, 2021. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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A green dot marks where NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover landed in Jezero Crater on Mars February 18, 2021, in a base image taken by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A green dot marks where NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover landed in Jezero Crater on Mars February 18, 2021, in a base image taken by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A green dot marks where NASA?s Perseverance Mars rover landed in Jezero Crater on Mars February 18, 2021, in a base image taken by the HiRISE camera aboard NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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One of the six wheels aboard Perseverance is seen in a high-resolution, color image sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of the rover after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

One of the six wheels aboard Perseverance is seen in a high-resolution, color image sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of the rover after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

One of the six wheels aboard Perseverance is seen in a high-resolution, color image sent back by the Hazard Cameras (Hazcams) on the underside of the rover after its landing on Mars February 18, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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A panorama made up of six individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard Perseverance rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A panorama made up of six individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard Perseverance rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

A panorama made up of six individual images taken by the Navigation Cameras, or Navcams, aboard Perseverance rover shows the Martian landscape February 20, 2021.  NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The descent stage holding the rover can be seen falling through the Martian atmosphere, its parachute trailing behind, February 18, 2021. The ancient river delta, which is the target of the Perseverance mission, can be seen entering Jezero Crater from the left. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The descent stage holding the rover can be seen falling through the Martian atmosphere, its parachute trailing behind, February 18, 2021. The ancient river delta, which is the target of the Perseverance mission, can be seen entering Jezero Crater...more

The descent stage holding the rover can be seen falling through the Martian atmosphere, its parachute trailing behind, February 18, 2021. The ancient river delta, which is the target of the Perseverance mission, can be seen entering Jezero Crater from the left. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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The first images arrive moments after Perseverance successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS

The first images arrive moments after Perseverance successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS

The first images arrive moments after Perseverance successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021.  NASA TV/Handout via REUTERS
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The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

The surface of Mars directly below NASA's Mars Perseverance rover is seen using the Rover Down-Look Camera in an image acquired February 22, 2021.   NASA/JPL-Caltech/Handout via REUTERS
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Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react in mission control after receiving confirmation the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS

Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react in mission control after receiving confirmation the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021. NASA/Bill...more

Members of NASA’s Perseverance rover team react in mission control after receiving confirmation the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021. NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS
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Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021.  (NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS

Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021....more

Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, February 18, 2021.  (NASA/Bill Ingalls/Handout via REUTERS
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