NASA’s ingenuity Mars helicopter, attached to the belly of the Perseverance Rover, contains a small relic from the first Wright Brothers aircraft that took flight more than 100 years ago.
The small amount of material from the wings of the Wright Brothers aircraft, known as the flight, is now aboard the ingenuity, which arrived on Mars on February 18, NASA said in a statement on Tuesday.
A small switch of fabric was wrapped around the cable under the helicopter’s solar panel, the agency wrote.
NASA notes that the Wright brothers used a similar material – a muslin called “Pride the West” to cover gliders and aircraft wings starting in 1901.
“Ingenuity will attempt the first operated, controlled flight on another planet, while the first operated, controlled flight on Earth, took place on December 17, 1903, near Kitty Huck, North Carolina, on the windy hills of Kill Devil Hill. Orville and Wilbur Wright covered 120 feet in 12 seconds during the first flight. The Wright brothers made four flights that day, each more than before.
The statement added: “Some of the material covering one wing of the Wright brothers’ aircraft, known as the flight during the first flight, is now in the ingenuity ship.
The Associated Press reports that Fabric’s Swatch, the size of a postage stamp, traveled 300 million miles with the blessings of the Wright brothers’ great-grandsons and great-grandsons to Carillon Historical Park, part of which was donated to NASA.
“Wilbur and Orville Wright will be happy to know that one of their little pieces from 1903, the Wright Flyer I, the machine that started the space age barely a quarter away, is making history again on Mars!” Amanda Wright Lane and Stephen Wright said in a statement that the park has been given an A.P.
During the Apollo 11 mission to the moon in July 1969, NASA noted a separate piece of material in addition to small pieces of wood from the right flyer.
NASA writes that the ingenuity is on its way to attempting the aircraft’s first operated, controlled flight to another planet before April. Before ingenuity can attempt the first flight, the helicopter and its crew must complete a string of “terrible targets,” NASA wrote in a statement.
For now, the helicopter remains attached to the abdomen of Perseverance, NASA wrote.
On July 30, on a mission to find signs of past life on the Red Planet, Capt. Canaveral, Fla. On February 18, the rover successfully landed on Mars, becoming the fifth rover NASA has sent to the red planet.