The Martian helicopter, the first aircraft for another planet, already has a name: Ingenuity (Ingenuity)

The Martian helicopter, the first aircraft for another planet, already has a name: Ingenuity (Ingenuity)

Among the thousands of suggestions submitted in a school contest, the first aircraft to fly to another planet has already received its baptism. The name Ingenuity is taken from an essay submitted to NASA by Vaneeza Rupani , a high school student in Alabama.

NASA’s Ingenuity will travel to the Red Planet this summer on the Perseverance mission, arriving at its destination in February 2021.

Ingenuity

Thomas Zurbuchen , associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, chose the name of the rover, and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine chose the name of the helicopter. According to Bridenstine:

The ingenuity sums up the values ​​that our helicopter technical demonstration will show everyone when it takes off next year as the first plane on the surface of another planet.

The helicopter will travel to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover, which is preparing for launch in July or August. Ingenuity will deploy to operate alone on the surface of the Red Planet .

Powered by solar energy and with a mass of 2 kg , the Ingenuity will demonstrate that powered flight can be achieved on Mars, allowing future Mars missions to make better use of second-generation helicopters.

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NASA’s Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter are currently in the process of final assembly and verification at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.