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Helicopter Highlights

Helicopter Highlights

NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has completed 72 flights since first taking to the skies above the Red Planet on April 19, 2021, far exceeding its originally planned technology demonstration of up to five flights. The many highlights of Ingenuity's historic and successful activities on Mars include:

  • The first aircraft to achieve powered, controlled flight on another planet, a feat that's been called a "Wright Brothers moment"
  • Completing 128.8 flying minutes, covering 10.5 miles (17.0 km), and reaching altitudes as high as 78.7 ft (24.0 m)
  • Successfully flying in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere
  • Previewing areas of Mars of possible interest for the Perseverance rover to explore
  • Paving the way for future aerial explorers at Mars and, potentially, other space destinations

Participate

Celebrate the Ingenuity helicopter with a postcard, photo, meme, poster, or GIF using the #ThanksIngenuity hashtag on social media.

Helicopter Timeline

Quick Facts


Artist's concept of the Mars Helicopter
View, download and interact with the Ingenuity 3D model.
Name Ingenuity
Main Job A technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars. The helicopter rode to Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover.
Launch July 30, 2020, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida
Landed Feb. 18, 2021, Jezero Crater, Mars
Length of Mission Technology demonstration completed; transitioned to new operations demo phase. Mission completed on Jan. 25, 2024.
Fact Sheet | Press Kit

Best of Ingenuity

Anatomy of the Mars Helicopter

'Hover' or 'click' on the orange dots to learn about the parts on the Mars Helicopter.

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Mars Helicopter Artist's Concept

Antennas

Radio antennas talk to Earth via the Mars 2020 rover and the Mars orbiters. x

Solar Panel

A solar panel helped keep the battery charged. x

Avionics & Body

Its avionics — or "brains" — helped the helicopter function and navigate. The body has insulation and heaters to keep sensitive electronics warm and survive cold Martian nights. x

Sensors & Cameras

Sensors collected data on how fast the helicopter was traveling and in which direction. Cameras help the helicopter see. x

Blades

Made of carbon fiber foam core to provide lift in the thin Mars atmosphere. x

Batteries

Batteries helped power the helicopter. x

Legs

Ultra-light legs made of carbon fiber tubes helped it land after flight. x

Tech Specs

Mass 1.8 kilograms
Weight 4 pounds on Earth; 1.5 pounds on Mars
Width Total length of rotors: ~4 feet (~1.2 meters) tip to tip
Power Solar panel charges Lithium-ion batteries, providing enough energy for one 90-second flight per Martian day (~350 Watts of average power during flight)
Blade span Just under 4 feet (1.2 meters)
Flight range Up to 980 feet (300 meters)
Flight altitude Up to 15 feet (5 meters)
Flight environment Thin atmosphere, less than 1% as dense as Earth's

Flight Log

By the Numbers

Flights 72
Flight Time ~128.8 mins
Distance Flown 11 miles (~17.0 km)
Max. Ground Speed 22.4 mph
10 m/s
Highest Altitude 24 meters (~79 ft)


Flight Sol Date Horizontal Distance Max.
Altitude
Max. Groundspeed Duration Route of Flight
m ft m ft m/s mph seconds From To
1 58 April 19, 2021 0 0 3 ~10 0 0 39.1 Wright Brothers Field
2 61 April 22, 2021 4 ~13 5 ~16 0.50 ~1.1 51.9 Wright Brothers Field
3 64 April 25, 2021 100 ~328 5 ~16 2 ~4.5 80.3 Wright Brothers Field
4 69 April 30, 2021 266 ~873 5 ~16 3.50 ~7.8 116.9 Wright Brothers Field
5 76 May 7, 2021 129 ~423 10 ~33 2 ~4.5 108.2 Wright Brothers Field Airfield B
6 91 May 22, 2021 215 ~705 10 ~33 4 ~8.9 139.9 Airfield B Airfield C
7 107 June 8, 2021 106 ~348 10 ~33 4 ~8.9 62.8 Airfield C Airfield D
8 120 June 21, 2021 160 ~525 10 ~33 4 ~8.9 77.4 Airfield D Airfield E
9 133 July 5, 2021 625 ~2,051 10 ~33 5 ~11.2 166.4 Airfield E Airfield F
10 152 July 24, 2021 233 ~764 12 ~39 5 ~11.2 165.4 Airfield F Airfield G
11 163 Aug. 4, 2021 383 ~1,257 12 ~39 5 ~11.2 130.9 Airfield G Airfield H
12 174 Aug. 16, 2021 450 ~1,476 10 ~33 4.30 ~9.6 169.5 Airfield H
13 193 Sept. 4, 2021 210 ~689 8 ~26 3.30 ~7.4 160.5 Airfield H
14 241 Oct. 24, 2021 2 ~7 5 ~16 0.50 ~1.1 23.0 Airfield H
15 254 Nov. 6, 2021 407 ~1,335 12 ~39 5 ~11.2 128.8 Airfield H Airfield F
16 268 Nov. 20, 2021 116 ~381 10 ~33 1.50 ~3.4 107.9 Airfield F Airfield J
17 282 Dec. 5, 2021 187 ~614 10 ~33 2.50 ~5.6 116.8 Airfield J Airfield K
18 292 Dec. 15, 2021 230 ~755 10 ~33 2.50 ~5.6 124.3 Airfield K Airfield L
19 345 Feb. 7, 2022 63 ~207 10 ~33 1 ~2.2 99.8 Airfield L Airfield E
20 362 Feb. 25, 2022 391 ~1,283 10 ~33 4.40 ~9.8 130.3 Airfield E Airfield M
21 375 March 10, 2022 370 ~1,214 10 ~33 3.85 ~8.6 129.2 Airfield M Airfield N
22 384 March 19, 2022 68 ~223 10 ~33 1 ~2.2 101.4 Airfield N
23 388 March 23, 2022 358 ~1,175 10 ~33 4 ~8.9 129.1 Airfield N Airfield P
24 398 April 3, 2022 47 ~154 10 ~33 1.45 ~3.2 69.5 Airfield P
25 403 April 8, 2022 704 ~2,310 10 ~33 5.50 ~12.3 161.3 Airfield P Airfield Q
26 414 April 19, 2022 360 ~1,181 8 ~26 3.80 ~8.5 159.0 Airfield Q Airfield R
27 418 April 23, 2022 307 ~1,007 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 152.9 Airfield R Airfield S
28 423 April 29, 2022 418 ~1,371 10 ~33 3.60 ~8.1 152.4 Airfield S Airfield T
29 465 June 11, 2022 179 ~587 10 ~33 5.50 ~12.3 66.6 Airfield T Airfield U
30 533 Aug. 20, 2022 2 ~7 5 ~16 0.50 ~1.1 33.3 Airfield U
31 550 Sept. 6, 2022 97 ~318 10 ~33 4.75 ~10.6 55.6 Airfield U Airfield V
32 561 Sept. 17, 2022 94 ~308 10 ~33 4.75 ~10.6 55.3 Airfield V Airfield W
33 567 Sept. 24, 2022 111 ~364 10 ~33 4.75 ~10.6 55.2 Airfield W Airfield X
34 625 Nov. 22, 2022 0 0 5 ~16 0 0 18.3 Airfield X
35 635 Dec. 3, 2022 15 ~49 14 ~46 3 ~6.7 52.0 Airfield X
36 642 Dec. 10, 2022 110 ~361 10 ~33 5.50 ~12.3 60.5 Airfield X
37 649 Dec. 17, 2022 62 ~203 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 55.2 Airfield X Airfield Y
38 667 Jan. 4, 2023 111 ~364 10 ~33 3.50 ~7.8 74.3 Airfield Y Airfield Z
39 673 Jan. 11, 2023 140 ~459 10 ~33 4 ~8.9 78.7 Airfield Z
40 681 Jan. 19, 2023 178 ~584 10 ~33 3.20 ~7.2 91.6 Airfield Z Airfield Beta
41 689 Jan. 27, 2023 183 ~600 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 109.1 Airfield Beta
42 697 Feb. 4, 2023 248 ~814 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 137.2 Airfield Beta Airfield Gamma
43 708 Feb. 16, 2023 390 ~1,280 12 ~39 4 ~8.9 146.0 Airfield Gamma Airfield Epsilon
44 711 Feb. 19, 2023 334 ~1,096 12 ~39 3.50 ~7.8 141.3 Airfield Epsilon Airfield Zeta
45 714 Feb. 22, 2023 496 ~1,627 12 ~39 6 ~13.4 144.5 Airfield Zeta Airfield Eta
46 717 Feb. 25, 2023 445 ~1,460 12 ~39 5.30 ~11.9 135.9 Airfield Eta Airfield Theta
47 729 March 9, 2023 440 ~1,444 12 ~39 5.30 ~11.9 146.1 Airfield Theta Airfield Iota
48 741 March 21, 2023 398 ~1,306 12 ~39 4.65 ~10.4 149.9 Airfield Iota Airfield Kappa
49 752 April 2, 2023 282 ~925 16 ~52 6.50 ~14.5 142.7 Airfield Kappa Airfield Lambda
50 763 April 13, 2023 322 ~1,056 18 ~59 4.60 ~10.3 145.7 Airfield Lambda Airfield Mu
51 772 April 22, 2023 188 ~617 12 ~39 4 ~8.9 136.9 Airfield Mu Airfield Nu
52 776 April 26, 2023 363 ~1,191 12 ~39 3.70 ~8.3 145.0 Airfield Nu Airfield Xi
53 860 July 22, 2023 143 ~468 5 ~16 2.50 ~5.6 74.9 Airfield Xi Airfield Omicron
54 872 Aug. 3, 2023 0 0 5 ~16 0 0 24.4 Airfield Omicron
55 881 Aug. 12, 2023 264 ~866 10 ~33 4.70 ~10.5 142.9 Airfield Omicron Airfield Pi
56 894 Aug. 25, 2023 410 ~1,345 12 ~39 5.30 ~11.9 140.9 Airfield Pi Airfield Rho
57 902 Sept. 3, 2023 217 ~712 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 128.6 Airfield Rho
58 910 Sept. 11, 2023 174 ~571 10 ~33 3 ~6.7 106.8 Airfield Rho Airfield Sigma
59 915 Sept. 16, 2023 0 0 20 ~66 0 0 142.6 Airfield Sigma
60 924 Sept. 25, 2023 340 ~1,116 16 ~52 8 ~17.9 132.8 Airfield Sigma Airfield Tau
61 933 Oct. 5, 2023 0 0 24 ~79 0 0 129.5 Airfield Tau
62 940 Oct. 12, 2023 268 ~880 18 ~59 10 ~22.4 121.1 Airfield Tau
63 947 Oct. 19, 2023 579 ~1,901 12 ~39 6.30 ~14.1 142.6 Airfield Tau Airfield Upsilon
64 954 Oct. 27, 2023 411 ~1,348 12 ~39 5.80 ~13.0 139.1 Airfield Upsilon Airfield Phi
65 960 Nov. 2, 2023 7 ~23 10 ~33 1 ~2.2 48.0 Airfield Phi
66 961 Nov. 3, 2023 1 ~2 3 ~10 1 ~2.2 23.0 Airfield Phi
67 990 Dec. 2, 2023 393 ~1,289 12 ~39 5.30 ~11.9 135.9 Airfield Phi Airfield Chi
68 1003 Dec. 15, 2023 702 ~2,304 16 ~52 10 ~22.4 131.1 Airfield Chi
69 1007 Dec. 20, 2023 705 ~2,315 16 ~52 10 ~22.4 135.4 Airfield Chi
70 1009 Dec. 22, 2023 260 ~853 12 ~39 3 ~6.7 132.9 Airfield Chi
71 1024 Jan. 6, 2024 0 0 12 ~39 7 ~15.7 35.0 Airfield Chi
72 1035 Jan. 18, 2024 0 0 12 ~39 0 0 32.0 Airfield Chi

Note: Dates based on Pacific time zone at the time of Ingenuity's flight.