After a couple of previously announced milestones involving its Mars ingenuity helicopter, NASA has detailed its plan to live stream the spacecraft’s first controlled flight. Of course, this won’t include an actual video feed of the helicopter as it fires up for its historic moment, but it will bring viewers along on the journey.
NASA typically holds broadcasts for its most notable events, such as rocket launches, and the Ingenuity controlled flight is no exception. As NASA previously announced, the space agency plans to conduct this potentially historic mission no earlier than April 11 — and, at the moment, it plans to attempt the flight on April 11.
Early that morning — 3:30 AM EDT or thereabouts — NASA says it will start a live stream to confirm the flight, assuming it takes place, that will include NASA JPL’s analysis of the first controlled flight data. Later on, at around 11 AM EDT on the same day, NASA will then hold a post-flight briefing to sum up the mission and give the public details on what took place.
A number of NASA officials are expected to participate in the live-streamed briefing, including multiple members of the Ingenuity team. NASA will give the public a chance to ask the team questions using the #MarsHelicopter hashtag on social media. Viewers will be able to tune in to the live stream on NASA TV, as well as on the NASA website, its YouTube and Facebook accounts, and the NASA app.
The Perseverance Mars rover took Ingenuity with it to the Red Planet, where it landed on February 18. Ingenuity doesn’t have a mission itself — rather, it is will be used to demonstrate the technology and gather data for experts on Earth. Assuming the helicopter does manage a controlled flight, it will mark the first time humanity has operated aircraft on another planet.