Dear NASA, 

I am writing this letter after being inspired by an article and video published on CNN titled, “NASA Ingenuity helicopter just broke one of its own records on Mars.” What struck me about this story was the Ingenuity helicopter team’s ability to constantly improve and create more future opportunities for the benefit of space exploration. What I found so captivating about the Ingenuity Helicopter’s appearance, was that it looked like a drone anyone could buy off the shelf. Although petite, it is able to make routine flights back and forth to Mars and never fails to impress. In the video, I witnessed the helicopter moving across Mars. I was mesmerized as I watched the video transition to the group that assumably put this robot together, cheering uncontrollably and clapping as if their lives depended on it. The poignance of the moment captured elicited fascination with the topic for anyone who read the article or saw the helicopter. 

The power of this team’s persistence and patience were spectacular and so clearly reminiscent of the synergy, support, and determination used with my classmates at school. The helicopter and the NASA team community all go above and beyond by surpassing the expectations of many. I look up to NASA as a whole because I admire the above concepts and someday hope to accomplish life-changing events just like NASA. It makes me wonder: Could high school students someday prepare for Mars? What are ways we can contribute to improving the world and beyond?

When first reading this article, I immediately noticed a plethora of similarities between the Ingenuity helicopter and the Concord Academy community. I’ve found that no matter the situation, the CA community never fails to get the job done, relying on persistence and accountability much like the NASA team did on Ingenuity. Seeing NASA’s many achievements inspires me to improve constantly and makes me ask myself how I can attain my goals. 

I commend the tenacity it has taken NASA to make progress in landing and discovering more about the environment on Mars. I believe in being an active participant in my own future ability to explore and better understand the universe. I wonder if there are ways for youth and NASA to work together to deepen our education and engage our community in this mission. 

This article and the Ingenuity project as a whole captured the idea that the sky isn’t the limit, but rather the limit is always changing, evolving, and adapting to force people and machines alike to defy and exceed expectations constantly. I believe that in my lifetime we will see much progress from the amazing work at NASA. I look forward to seeing how the Ingenuity helicopter and its team make changes to improve the future of space exploration, similar to how the CA community consistently grows. 

I thank you for your time and am so incredibly inspired by the hard work and dedication you all do to make the world (universe, and galaxy) a better place.

Ava Angele Khabbaz ’25