A piece of the Wright brothers’ first plane on Mars.
The US Space Agency revealed that NASA’s Mars Experimental Helicopter is carrying a small sample cloth from the 1903 Wright Flyer. The helicopter, called Ingenuity, took a flight to the Red Planet with the persistent rover, which arrived last month.
Bobby Brown, director of planetary science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, indicated that creativity will attempt its first powered and controlled flight to another planet no later than April 8.
The Carillon Historical Park In Dayton, Ohio, Wright’s hometown, she donated a piece of gauze the size of a postage stamp from the lower left wing of the plane, at NASA’s request.
Steve Lucht, the park’s curator, said the pregnant woman had traveled 300 million miles to Mars with the blessings of the Wright’s granddaughter and their nephew.
“Wilbur and Orville Wright would be pleased to know that a small piece of the 1903 Wright Flyer 1, the machine that launched the Space Age barely a quarter of a mile, would be soaring in history again on Mars!” Amanda Wright Lynn and Stephen Wright said in a statement provided by the park.
Orville Wright was on board the world’s first powered and controlled flight on December 17, 1903, in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The brothers took turns, and made four trips that day.
A piece of wood and fabric by the Wright Flyer flew to the moon with Neil Armstrong from Apollo 11 in 1969. It also accompanied Swatch carrier John Glenn in orbit on the Space Shuttle Discovery in 1998. Both astronauts were from Ohio.
NASA’s 4-pound (1.8 kg) helicopter will attempt to rise 10 feet (3 meters) in extremely thin Mars air on its first jump. Up to five higher and longer trips are increasingly being planned throughout the month.
The material is attached to a cable under the helicopter’s solar panel, which floats on top like a graduate’s mortar board.
For now, creativity remains at the rover’s belly. A body armor fell away over the weekend, revealing the long-legged helicopter.
The helicopter airport is located next to the Jezero Crater rover landing site. The rover will monitor test flights from a distant surface before driving away to pursue its special mission: to search for signs of ancient Martian life. Rock samples will be set aside for eventual return to Earth.