ingenuity helicopter crashed

NASA Perseverance rover spots poor broken Ingenuity helicopter in a recent Mars photo

ingenuity helicopter crashed

Last month, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took its last flight after suffering rotor damage. In a recent photo, the Perseverance rover captured the poor, broken helicopter in its final resting place.

NASA’s Mars Perseverance rover spotted its little buddy on February 4, 2024 (Sol 1052) at the local mean solar time of 13:05:37. The rover used its Left Mastcam-Z camera – one of two cameras located high on the rover’s mast.

About Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

Ingenuity helicopter took its first flight on April 19, 2021. Since then, it completed 72 flights, far exceeding its originally planned maximum of five flights. It was the first aircraft to “achieve powered, controlled flight on another planet,” NASA explains, “a feat that’s been called a ‘Wright Brothers moment’.” It completed a total of 128.8 flying minutes, covering 10.5 miles (17.0 km), and reaching altitudes as high as 78.7 ft (24.0 m). It even photographed its own crashed landing gear.

The main task for Ingenuity was to preview areas of Mars that could be of interest for the Perseverance rover to explore (and take selfies at). It successfully flew in the extremely thin Martian atmosphere, paving the way for future aerial explorers at Mars… And perhaps other planets, too.

“It’s almost an understatement to say that it has surpassed expectations,” Lori Glaze, the director of NASA’s planetary science division, told the New York Times. Indeed, after flying 72 times instead of five, I guess the helicopter deserves to rest in peace.

[via Space.com; Image credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU]