April 04, 2023

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter made history when it achieved the first powered, controlled flight on another planet – and it’s inspiring future aerial exploration of the Red Planet, too. In this Mars Report, Ingenuity Team Lead Teddy Tzanetos at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory provides an update on the helicopter’s achievements and future plans.

This video shows testing for Sample Recovery Helicopters, which could serve as a backup retrieval system for Mars Sample Return, a campaign that intends to retrieve samples taken by NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover for study here on Earth. These next-generation helicopters would be able to pick up and carry sample tubes in flight and also drive on the Martian surface.

Another future helicopter concept is the Mars Science Helicopter, a proposed six-rotor “hexacopter” that would be about the size of the Perseverance rover. It would bring important payloads to areas of Mars that are not currently accessible.

For more information on Ingenuity, go to: mars.nasa.gov/ingenuity

For more information on the Mars Sample Retrieval Helicopters, go to: mars.nasa.gov/msr/



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