Find Your Wright Brothers Moment

June 15, 2021

On April 16, NASA reported that the Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed a historic flight on Mars and safely landed back on the surface. It was the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. The helicopter autonomously flew through the thin Martian atmosphere, with no help from its teams on Earth, gathering data and taking photos and video.

The copter carried a postage-stamp-sized swatch of fabric from wing of the original Wright Flyer aircraft. MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., called the achievement their "Wright brothers moment on another planet." The feat comes 117 years after the Wright brothers succeeded in making the first flight near Kitty Hawk, N.C., on Dec. 17, 1903.

Despite the success, Aung said they are talking cues from Orville and Wilbur Wright about what to do next. History shows they got right back to work, learning about their aircraft to make it even better.

What’s interesting about this is that NASA said the Mars helicopter project went from a "blue sky" feasibility study to workable engineering concept to achieving the first flight on another world in just six years.

Such a quick turnaround for something this monumental made me think of how quickly ALTA created its Good Deeds Foundation. Just months after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, ALTA leadership started talking about the concept. In October, the ALTA Good Deeds Foundation launched. Already, title professionals such as yourself have donated more than $600,000 to help the non-profit support charitable efforts across the country. The Foundation initially awarded $125,000 in grants to 21 organizations earlier this year. This is just the start and we’re excited to see how the Foundation grows and the lives that are impacted. The Foundation is currently taking grant applications for its next round of giving. Deadline to submit an application is July 31.

We know our members make a difference in their communities every day. As we work earnestly to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, communities are more important than ever in all aspects of our lives. That’s one of the reasons why ALTA launched a new online community called ALTA Connection to provide a venue for ALTA members to share information and build and expand their networks.

We hope you will share what’s happening in your community and company. Let’s celebrate victories and troubleshoot challenges. (You can join and learn more at

Whether it’s working to strengthen and improve your community, or helping your customers, find and celebrate your Wright brothers moment.

Jeremy Yohe is ALTA's vice president of communications. He can be reached at [email protected].

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].