A piece of the Wright brothers’ first airplane will take flight once again on April 8.
According to CNN, the fabric was taken from one of the Wright Flyer’s wings and is now attached to a cable beneath the helicopter’s solar panel.
On April 8, Ingenuity will attempt the first powered, controlled flight ever conducted on another planet, NBC News reports. Bobby Braun, the director for planetary science at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory refers to the forthcoming event as a “Wright brothers’ moment.”
The #Ingenuity helicopter onboard .@NASAPersevere carries a small patch of fabric from the Wright Brothers' aircraft that conducted the first powered flight on December 17, 1903.— Paul Byrne (@ThePlanetaryGuy) March 23, 2021
That patch is now on Mars, and I think that's pretty cool. pic.twitter.com/eDYPvSLgB5
The Associated Press reports that the fabric made the 300 million-mile voyage to the red planet with the blessing of the Wright brothers’ great-grandnephew and great-grandniece, Stephen Wright and Amanda Wright Lane.
In a statement, they said, “Wilbur and Orville Wright would be pleased to know that a little piece of their 1903 Wright Flyer I, the machine that launched the Space Age by barely one quarter of a mile, is going to soar into history again on Mars!” (via The Associated Press).
CNN reports that this is not the first time a piece of the Wright brothers’ plane has been space-bound. According to the site, a splinter of wood from the Flyer and another piece of material from its wing were aboard the Apollo 11 in 1969 and traveled to the moon and back.