NASA confirmed the successful flight during a live broadcast at 10:52 GMT, when data from the flight, which was conducted roughly three hours earlier, arrived back on Earth.
The Ingenuity helicopter was launched from the Perseverance rover. The 4-pound rotorcraft successfully hovered at 10 feet above Mars' surface for roughly 30 seconds.
The first photo, made by the helicopter, was posted by NASA, depicting Ingenuity's own shadow.
It happened. Today our #MarsHelicopter proved that powered, controlled flight from the surface of another planet is possible. It takes a little ingenuity, perseverance, and spirit to make that opportunity a reality: https://t.co/oT3rrBm6wj pic.twitter.com/u63GKshp0G— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2021
"Ingenuity has performed its first flight — the first flight of a powered aircraft on another planet!"— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2021
The data reveals: Our #MarsHelicopter has had a successful first flight: 🚁 pic.twitter.com/h5a6aGGgHG
The helicopter was carried by the Perseverance rover, which landed on the red planet back in February. The mission is intended to search for evidence of ancient microbial life, analyse Martian rocks, and research the landscape, providing important information for future launches bound for Mars.