Google's Easter Egg Celebrates Humankind For Flying The First Helicopter On Mars


Futurists and visionaries are divided.

One one side, they suggest that humans should preserve Earth by utilizing its renewable resources to the maximum potential, let the planet heal itself, in order for it to continue sustaining lives longer. On the other side, people suggest that humankind must venture beyond Earth, and become an interplanetary species.

While there are two sides, they could probably agree that one day in the future, humans will leave Earth in one way or the other, for any reason, and conquer the Solar System.

But before that can happen, there should first be a "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," as American astronaut Neil Armstrong said when he placed his left foot on the lunar surface for the first time.

Man has visited the Moon. This time it's Mars. But before sending humans to the red planet, many experiments and researches are needed. One of which, is by sending probes and devices. And this time, humankind reached yet another milestone, when NASA managed to fly the first helicopter ever in a place other than Earth.

Called the Ingenuity, the small robotic helicopter successfully flew on Mars on April 19, 2021, taking off vertically, hovering and landing.

When mankind celebrates, Google is tagging along. And this time, it's bringing an Easter Egg with it.

To see the Easter Egg, users just need to visit Google Search, and type "Ingenuity NASA" into the search bar.

Google will then return with its search engine results page, with a Knowledge Graph containing sorts of information about the Mars helicopter, including its GIF photo.

Clicking on the photo will bring the helicopter to life.

Google Search also experiences a redesign, in which the white-colored background turns Mars reddish, and popping up some Martian soil from the bottom of the screen.

The helicopter then flies and hovers around the search results, between the Google-turned Martian landscape.

The development of the Ingenuity helicopter began back in 2014, initially designed to be a scout helicopter to accompany a rover. But further developments and funding request Ingenuity to become a project of its own.

Ingenuity has a mass of just under 1.8 kg. Using its contra-rotating coaxial rotors that are about 1.2 meter in diameter, it is designed to only fly a few times on Mars.

But because Mars' atmosphere is less dense than on Earth, the helicopter had to use Mars' lower gravity for lift off.

Ingenuity experienced a huge stress, as it has been described that lifting off on the red planet is equivalent to flying at 100,000 ft (30,000 m) above Earth. This is an altitude that has never been reached by existing helicopters.

NASA has invested around $80 million to build Ingenuity, and spent about $5 million more to just operate the helicopter.

After years of preparation and planning, and finally a success, Google is known for making Easter Eggs on world events or notable moments.

And this time, the company is not making this humankind milestone go without a little celebration.

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unlocked its rotor blades
NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter unlocked its rotor blades, allowing them to spin freely, on April 7, 2021, the 47th Martian day, or sol, of the mission. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)