NASA Smashes Long-Range Drone Record With Mars Flight

Flying a drone above another planet

NASA smashes long range drone record with a flight above Mars
Image credit: The Drone Racing League

Oh, you managed a distance of 10km with your long-range drone? That’s cute. NASA just flew a controlled a drone at a distance of about 291.1 million kms.

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took its initial flight over Mars on Monday making history as the first machine from Earth to achieve powered, controlled flight over another planet.

Okay, so it’s not exactly on par with the levels of modern FPV as the Ingenuity drone only sent back a few black and white images rather than a live video feed. It was also carried to Mars on the belly of Nasa’s Perseverance Rover which arrived on the Red Planet back in February, and it was only airborne for less than a minute, but it is still immensely impressive considering the enormous distance and a difference in atmosphere.

NASA has promised more adventurous other-planetary flights in the days to come with more images to show off and perhaps even longer flight times

“We can now say that human beings have flown a rotorcraft on another planet,” said a delighted MiMi Aung, project manager for Ingenuity at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California.

“We’ve been talking for so long about our ‘Wright Brothers moment’ on Mars, and here it is.”

– MiMi Aung, project manager for Ingenuity at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

Read more about the landmark acheivement by NASA here.

Could we perhaps one day see FPV drone flights above Mars with a live stream similar to what we currently enjoy back down here on Earth? It would take some serious technological advancements, but we can hope.

Ben Evans

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