Mars    Helicopter

Status Updates

Flying on Mars Is Getting Harder and Harder
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.
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
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 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
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 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
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.
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
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 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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Flight 9 Was a Nail-Biter, but Ingenuity Came Through With Flying Colors
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.
NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover took this image overlooking the “Séítah” region using its navigation camera. The agency’s Ingenuity helicopter flew over this region during its ninth flight, on July 5. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
It has been a week of heightened apprehension on the Mars Helicopter team as we prepared a major flight challenge for Ingenuity. We uplinked instructions for the flight, which occurred Monday, July 5 at 2:03 am PT, and waited nervously for results to arrive from Mars later that morning. The mood in the ground control room was jubilant when we learned that Ingenuity was alive and well after comp...
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We’re Going Big for Flight 9
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.
NASA's Mars Perseverance rover acquired this image using its Left Mastcam-Z Camera. Mastcam-Z is a pair of cameras located high on the rover's mast. This image was acquired on Jun. 15, 2021 (Sol 114). Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU. Download image ›
Since Ingenuity’s historic first flight on April 19, where it hovered about 10 feet (3 meters) above the Martian surface for 30 seconds, we have been progressively stretching the capabilities of the helicopter by flying farther, faster, and more aggressively. Ingenuity has flown at altitudes up to 33 feet (10 meters) and ground speeds up to 13 feet (4 meters) a second. It covered a distance of ...
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Flight 8 Success, Software Updates, and Next Steps
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.
Ingenuity Helicopter in 3D: NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is seen here in 3D using images taken June 6, 2021, by the left and right Mastcam-Z cameras aboard NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS. Download image ›
As of June 21, 2021, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has successfully flown its 8th flight, traveling about 525 feet (160 meters) south-southeast from Airfield D to the new Airfield E! This marks the third flight in the Operations Demonstration Phase of Ingenuity, in which the team will continue to push the flight envelope of the aircraft while learning valuable operational lessons. Flight 8 was also...
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Ingenuity Flight 7 Preview
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.
NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter acquired this image on May 22, 2021 using its black and white navigation camera. This camera is mounted in the helicopter’s fuselage and pointed directly downward to track the ground during flight. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
The next flight of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will take place no earlier than this Sunday, June 6. Regardless of flight date, data will be returned to Earth over the subsequent three days. The flight profile will send Ingenuity to a location about 350 feet (106 meters) south of its current location, where it will touch down at its new base of operations. This will mark the second time ...
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Surviving an In-Flight Anomaly: What Happened on Ingenuity’s Sixth Flight
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 of Mars was taken from the height of 33 feet (10 meters) by NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter during its sixth flight on May 22, 2021. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›
On the 91st Martian day, or sol, of NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover mission, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed its sixth flight. The flight was designed to expand the flight envelope and demonstrate aerial-imaging capabilities by taking stereo images of a region of interest to the west. Ingenuity was commanded to climb to an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) before translating 492 feet ...
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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
  • 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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