NASA will not be sending only one machine to Mars when it launches in June 2020. Along with the Perseverance rover of NASA, they will be sending in a Mars helicopter, the first of its kind. Jim Bridenstine, NASA’s administrator, made his joy known to the world while naming its new invention. He says, “I feel proud to name the Mars rover – Ingenuity“.
This new aircraft is designed to attempt the first powered flight over the planet Mars. The Mars helicopter has been officially named as ‘Ingenuity‘. Ingenuity is set to arrive on the red planet by February 18, 2021. The name was not a random takeaway. Because NASA wanted to use the bright minds of the country to help them name the space marvel. “Name the Rover“, was an essay contest that made way for Tuscaloosa County High School girl, Vaneeza Rupani to name the first Mars helicopter.
NASA's Mars Helicopter has received a new name: Ingenuity. This technology demonstration will ride to Mars attached to the @NASAPersevere rover. Learn more, and meet Vaneeza Rupani, the student who came up with the new name: https://t.co/XTTQzpxwZx pic.twitter.com/9aKZGWrprr
— NASA Solar System (@NASASolarSystem) April 29, 2020
NASA Ingenuity: first powered flight over the Red Planet
NASA had to choose from a total of 28,000 submissions of essays. These essays are primarily a result of submission from K-12 students from every state of the United States of America. A seventh-grader, Alexander Mather, had the chance to name the previous rover, Perseverance.
Vaneeza Rupani is an Indian origin American. Her essay was not some random piece of literature, because she wrote it thinking of all space scientists on Earth. She writes, “I name this rover Ingenuity because of the people behind it. It is due to the ingenuity and intelligence of people working hard to overcome the bigger challenges of space. This is what allows humans to expand our horizons to the farthest points of the universe. Because the universe is an ever-expanding sheet of ingenuity.”
According to Bridenstine, the name Ingenuity molds the values of the Mars helicopter’s demo which will showcase in 2021 worldwide when it takes off. Currently, JPL manages all operations with Perseverance and Mars helicopter for NASA. Kennedy Space Center will be responsible for maintaining all activities of launch once everything is ready.
Let us know what you have to say about this novel name in the comments below!
Suryapratim Ray is an engineer, author, robotics hobbyist, and an active Quoran. Being a technical blogger, he covers the good, bad, and ugly of science on a regular basis at Sciencenews18. In addition to his passion for writing, he’s equally keen on learning classical music.