Mars    Helicopter

Flight 19 - New Year, Same Ingenuity
Flight 19 Landing Zone: The targeted landing zone for Ingenuity’s Flight 19 can be seen in this RTE image from Flight 9. The targeted landing spot is in the center of the image, just below the rover tracks. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech. Download image ›

The next flight on Mars marks the first of 2022 and the nineteenth for NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter. The current mission goal is to reach the Jezero river delta to aid the Perseverance rover in path planning and scientific discovery. This flight, which will take place no earlier than Friday, Jan. 7, takes the scout vehicle out of the South Séítah basin, across the dividing ridge, and up onto the main plateau. The precise landing target for Flight 19 is near the landing site of Flight 8. Images taken during Flight 9 by the rotorcraft’s high-resolution Return-To-Earth (RTE) camera were used to select a safe landing zone.

While short, the flight has a challenging start due to featureless sandy terrain that the helicopter currently sits on. Initially chosen for the lack of rocks to land safely, the area is actually so devoid of rock that warnings were reported during Flight 18 landing due to insufficient features to track in the vision navigation. As a result, fault protection parameters will be updated to mitigate the risk of a premature landing mid-ascent.

Flight 19 is the third necessary to cover the same ground flown during Flight 9 - in the opposite direction. This slower approach was taken due to the lack of large landing sites in this portion of Séítah and lower atmospheric density in the summer months which requires higher rotor speeds and power draw from the motors. Spanning 207 feet (63 meters), this flight will last about 100 seconds at a groundspeed of 2.2 mph (1 meter per second) and altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) while taking 9 new RTE images. The final act of the flight is to turn nearly 180 degrees to flip the RTE camera to a forward-facing orientation for future flights toward the river delta.



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
  • Martin Cacan
    Ingenuity Pilot, 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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