The atmosphere of Mars is 170 times more rarefied than that of the Earth, but even it was enough for the helicopter to take off to about a three-meter height and stay in flight for about 30 seconds. According to the scientific director of the Ingeniuity project, Mimi Ong, it was "the first ever controlled flight on another planet. This opens the way for the creation of other aircraft that NASA will send to other worlds of the solar system". Actually, the creators of the Martian helicopter from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have so far been testing the very possibility of such flights over Mars.
As reported by the TASS agency, the rover transmitted to the Earth footage of the takeoff and landing of the helicopter. The cost of this device, taking into account its delivery to Mars, was $ 80 million. It is reported that the helicopter was lowered to the surface of the Martian crater before the flight and disconnected from the rover, but it successfully survived the cold Martian night and pre-flight engine tests, although engine malfunctions were noted a week earlier. The engineers quickly figured out that the error was not technical, but software in nature and fixed it by simply changing the software that was sent to Mars.
According to vesti.ru, there are several more test flights of increasing complexity ahead of the Martian helicopter. It is curious that before the start of Ingenuity, the famous film actor and politician Arnold Schwarzenegger admonished him, repeating his catchphrase "Get into the helicopter". The Perseverance rover itself was sent in search of life, or at least traces of it in the past.