It was Dec. 17, 1903, when the Wright brothers made that historic first flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
Now, nearly 120 years later, America has a helicopter preparing to remotely survey the planet Mars.
The Ingenuity helicopter arrived on the Red Planet with the Perseverance rover in February. The rover will transport it to a "Martian airfield" in a dry lake bed a couple of days travel away. NASA hopes the helicopter could take off by April 8.
And when it does, it will link the first flight with the latest.
That's because Ingenuity contains a small piece of fabric about the size of a postage stamp. It's piece of muslin from the wing covering of the Wright brothers' plane.
How cool is that?
In our view, it's a fine touch. It shows just how far we have progressed in the field of flight. And the names of the helicopter and rover, Ingenuity and Perseverance, are very significant as well. It was American ingenuity and perseverance that made that first flight at Kitty Hawk possible — and the same qualities took our technology to Mars.
And our American ingenuity and perseverance will ensure advances in all fields as long as we take full advantage of those qualities.