AIAA Marks First Flight on Another Planet Written 19 April 2021



NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter captured this photo of its own shadow while hovering above the Martian surface on 19 April 2021, marking the first occurrence of powered, controlled flight on another planet. | Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

April 19, 2021 – Reston, Va. – The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) marks today’s historic first flight of NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. AIAA Executive Director Dan Dumbacher issued this statement:

“What an amazing sight – an aircraft flying over Mars! The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter made the first ever powered, controlled flight on another planet today. Congratulations to our corporate member, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and the whole Ingenuity team. Your innovative and inspirational thinking continues shaping the future of aerospace.

“We all know the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright taking a huge risk and proving to the world that heavier-than-air, powered flight was possible. Today, we saw how taking off-world risks proves anything is possible. From this day forward, we’ll remember 19 April 2021, at Jezero Crater, Wright Brothers Field, Mars, just as we have remembered 17 December 1903, at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, Earth.

“Earlier this year, we watched the Perseverance rover’s landing on Mars, carrying Ingenuity onboard and showing us what your motto – Dare Mighty Things – means. We are eager to witness the team achieve the next mission milestones, especially Ingenuity’s next test flight. There’s more work to do as we accelerate our off-world future. Go Ingenuity! Go Perseverance!”

 First Video of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicpoter in Flight

AIAA Media Contact: Rebecca B. Gray,, 804-397-5270.

About AIAA 
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) is the world’s largest aerospace technical society. With nearly 30,000 individual members from 91 countries, and 100 corporate members, AIAA brings together industry, academia, and government to advance engineering and science in aviation, space, and defense. For more information, visit, or follow AIAA on TwitterFacebook, or LinkedIn.