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State: Operational

Place: Mars

Operator: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Instruments: Inertial sensorsLaser altimeterNavcam × 2JPL's Mars Helicopter insignia



Mission Ending

"Life's like a movie, write your own ending. Keep believing, keep pretending." - Jim Henson


Kind: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Manufacturer: Jet Propulsion Laboratory

Launch Site: Cape Canaveral SLC-41


"Requesting permission for flyby." Maverick - Top Gun


"You’re going very fast when you’re on orbit, going around the world once every hour and a half." - Robert Crippen


Region: Jezero crater

Date: 18 February 2021, 20:00 (2021-02-18UTC20) UTC (planned)

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity is a robotic helicopter that is planned to be used to test the technology to scout interesting targets on Mars, and help plan the best driving route for future Mars rovers. The small drone helicopter is planned for deployment in 2021 from the Perseverance rover as part of the NASA Mars 2020 mission. It is planned to make the first powered flight on any planet beyond Earth, and is expected to fly up to five times during its 30-day test campaign, early in the rover's mission, as it is primarily a technology demonstration. Each flight is planned to be at altitudes ranging from 3 to 10 m above the ground. It could potentially cover a distance of up to 300 metres (980 ft) per flight. It can use autonomous control during its short flights, although flights will be telerobotically planned and scripted by controllers at JPL. It will communicate with the Perseverance rover directly after each landing. If it works as expected, NASA could build on the design for future Mars aerial missions. MiMi Aung is the project lead. Other contributors include AeroVironment Inc., NASA Ames Research Center, and NASA Langley Research Center.