NASA’s miniature Mars helicopter Ingenuity achieved the first powered flight on another planet on Monday. The 4-pound solar-powered helicopter ascended above the Martian surface, hovered and then touched back down, mission control said. The robot rotorcraft was carried to the red planet strapped to the belly of NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance, a mobile astrobiology lab that touched down on Feb. 18 in Jezero Crater after a nearly seven-month journey.
Russia has announced that 20 diplomats from the Czech Republic will be expelled after the Czechs expelled 18 Russian diplomats. The Russian diplomats are suspected of being intelligence operatives involved in an explosion at a Czech arms depot in 2014 which killed two people. Two Russians suspected of carrying out a nerve agent attack in the UK in 2018 are now also being linked to the blast.
Thousands of people are being evacuated from Table Mountain in Cape Town where winds are continuing to fan forest fires towards neighborhoods. Around 250 firefighters are trying to control the blaze as thick smoke obscures visibility throughout the city center. Reports said up to 50,000 people were being moved to safety as helicopters continued to drop water on threatened areas.
An ally of jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny said on Monday she was braced for bad news on the health of the hunger-striking opposition politician when his lawyers see him again. Navalny, a prominent opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin, started refusing food on March 31 in protest at what he said was the refusal of prison authorities to provide him with adequate medical care for acute leg and back pain.
Twelve of Europe’s top soccer clubs have announced plans to form a so-called European Super League, in a move that looks set to rock the foundations of the sport’s top competitions, including preeminent leagues in England, Spain and Italy and extending all the way up to the World Cup. FIFA, the global governing body for football, denounced the formation of the Super League, saying it goes against FIFA’s core principles.