Mars    Helicopter

Status Updates

Flight 17 - Heading North Into Séítah
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.

Mars Helicopter Sol 133 - Color Camera​: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image during its 9th flight. Flight 17 will fly by this terrain again and land near the upper right corner of the image. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

With Flight 17, Ingenuity continues its journey back to Wright Brothers Field at the Octavia E. Butler landing site. Flight 17 is the third flight of this journey and is scheduled to take place no earlier than Sunday, Dec. 5 with the data arriving back on Earth no earlier than later that same day.  Flight 17 is approximately half of Flight 9 in reverse, which was one of the most challenging ...
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Flight 16 – Short Hop to the North
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
Mars Helicopter Sol 254 - Navigation Camera: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image using its navigation camera. This camera is mounted in the helicopter's fuselage and pointed directly downward to track the ground during flight. This image was acquired on Nov. 6, 2021 (Sol 254 of the Perseverance rover mission) at the local mean solar time of 12:06:00. This was the date of Ingenuity's 15th flight. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
With Flight 15, Ingenuity began the journey back towards “Wright Brothers Field” at “Octavia E. Butler Landing,” the site where Perseverance touched down with Ingenuity in February. This flight was performed with the recently-increased rotor speed of 2,700 rpm. After reviewing the data from Flight 15, the Ingenuity team is prepared to attempt our Flight 16 no earlier than Saturday, Nov. 20. ...
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Flight #15 - Start of the Return Journey
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
Perseverance's First Road Trip: This annotated image of Mars' Jezero Crater depicts the route NASA's Perseverance rover is taking during its first science campaign – as well as its path to the location of its second science campaign. Ingenuity will be tasked with joining Perseverance along this journey, with the goal of reaching Jezero’s river delta. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona. Download image ›
With conjunction over and our first flight at 2,700 RPM behind us, Ingenuity is ready to begin the journey back to the Wright Brothers Field at the Octavia E. Butler landing site, before venturing beyond. The above figure depicts the mission ahead of Ingenuity, which is to join Perseverance in the trek north along the east edge of Séítah, before traveling west to reach the Jezero ancient river ...
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Flight 14 Successful
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.

Mars Helicopter Sol 241: Navigation Camera: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image using its navigation camera. This camera is mounted in the helicopter's fuselage and pointed directly downward to track the ground during flight. This image was acquired on Oct. 24, 2021 (Sol 241 of the Perseverance rover mission) at the local mean solar time of 12:34:15. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

The successful 14th flight of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took place shortly after 1:18 a.m. PDT Oct. 24 at Jezero Crater. As planned, the helicopter executed its first 2,700 rpm flight, proving that Ingenuity is capable of flying in the weeks and months ahead on Mars, during which seasonal changes on the surface will result in decreases in air density. The short 23-second flight included ...
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2,800 RPM Spin a Success, but Flight 14 Delayed to Post Conjunction
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
Ingenuity's Upper Swashplate Assembly: The upper swashplate of NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter controls the pitch of the upper rotor blades as they rotate and is critical to stable, controlled flight. The swashplate is driven by three small servo motors. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
It’s been an eventful several Martian days, or sols, since our last blog post, so we wanted to provide everyone with an update on where things stand on Mars. In our last post, we explained that we were getting ready to begin flying with a higher rotor speed to compensate for decreasing atmospheric density caused by seasonal changes on Mars. Increasing the rotor speed is a significant change to ...
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Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
Mars Helicopter Sol 193 - Navigation Camera: NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image using its navigation camera during its 13th flight on Sep. 5, 2021 (Sol 193 of the Perseverance rover mission) at the local mean solar time of 12:06:30. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
In the months since we flew for the first time, we have learned a great deal about operating a helicopter on Mars. We have explored Ingenuity’s strengths and limitations in detail, leveraging the former and working around the latter to operationalize it as a highly capable reconnaissance platform. With the benefit of the knowledge acquired, conducting flights on Mars has in most ways become ...
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Lucky 13 – Ingenuity to Get Lower for More Detailed Images During Next Flight
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
This image sand dunes, boulders, and rocky outcrops of the “South Séítah” region of Mars’ Jezero Crater was captured by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter during its 12th flight, on Aug. 16, 2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
“The longer you look back, the farther you can look forward.” –Winston Churchill  Following Flight 12’s scouting images of “South Séítah,” which were the most valuable Ingenuity has taken to date, we are taking Winston’s advice for Ingenuity’s 13th flight. We will again be venturing across into Seítah to scout an area of outcrops glimpsed in Flight 12 imagery – but we’re taking these new pictu...
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Better By the Dozen – Ingenuity Takes on Flight 12
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
This annotated image depicts the ground tracks of NASA’s Perseverance rover (white) and Ingenuity Mars Helicopter (green) since arriving on Mars on Feb. 18, 2021. The upper yellow ellipse depicts the “South Séítah” region, which Ingenuity is scheduled to fly over during its 12th sortie. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
Ingenuity’s team is suiting up again for its next big challenging sortie, Flight 12. Taking place no earlier than Monday, Aug. 16 at 5:57 a.m. PDT, or 13:23 LMST (local Mars time), the 174th sol (Martian day) of the Perseverance mission, the flight will venture into the geologically intriguing “South Séítah” region (top yellow circle in graphic above).   This latest effort will be similar to...
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North-By-Northwest for Ingenuity’s 11th Flight
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
Ingenuity's 11th Flight: This annotated image of Mars’ Jezero Crater depicts the ground track and waypoints of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s planned 11th flight, scheduled to take place no earlier than Aug. 4, 2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona. Download image ›
We’re heading northwest for the 11th flight of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, which will happen no earlier than Wednesday night, Aug. 4. The mission profile is designed to stay ahead of the rover – supporting its future science goals in the “South Séítah” region, where it will be able to gather aerial imagery in support of future Perseverance Mars rover surface operations in the area. Her...
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Aerial Scouting of ‘Raised Ridges’ for Ingenuity’s Flight 10
The Return to Earth camera on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter snaped this picture of geologic feature the Mars Perseverance rover team calls “Raised Ridges” during its 10th flight at Mars, on July 24, 2021.
This annotated image of Mars’ Jezero Crater depicts the ground track and waypoints for Ingenuity’s planned tenth flight – scheduled to take place no earlier than Saturday, July 24. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/University of Arizona. Download image ›
Ingenuity has come a long way from its original airfield, “Wright Brothers Field,” which is 0.64 miles (1.04 kilometers) to the northeast of our current location. We got here during Flight 9, an endeavor that had our helicopter breaking several of our own records as we relocated to the far side of the "Séítah" geologic unit. Covering 2,051 feet (625 meters), Flight 9 was executed ...
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About This Blog

These blog updates are provided by the Mars Helicopter team. The Mars Helicopter is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars.

Dates of planned test activities are subject to change due to a variety of factors related to the Martian environment, communication relays, helicopter and/or rover status.

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Contributors+

  • Bob Balaram
    Chief Engineer for the Mars Helicopter Project, NASA/JPL
  • Håvard Grip
    Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Chief Pilot, NASA/JPL
  • Jaakko Karras
    Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Deputy Operations Lead, NASA/JPL
  • Josh Ravich
    Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Mechanical Engineering Lead, NASA/JPL
  • MiMi Aung
    Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Project Manager, NASA/JPL
  • Teddy Tzanetos
    Ingenuity Team Lead, NASA/JPL

Where is the Mars Helicopter?

Image of a rover pin-point at Perseverance's location on Mars, Jezero Crater

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