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NASA's Ingenuity Mars mission ends after rotor suffers damage

By T.K. Randall
January 27, 2024 · Comment icon 5 comments
Ingenuity Mars helicopter.
Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
The pint-sized helicopter exceeded everyone's wildest expectations having flown 72 missions over 3 years.
When NASA's Perseverance rover touched down on the surface of the Red Planet back in February 2021, it was carrying something that had never been seen on Mars before - an experimental autonomous helicopter drone known as Ingenuity.

Designed to test the waters for aerial vehicles on the Red Planet, the drone was only ever intended to fly on a few short test flights.

But then, something happened that nobody had expected - it kept going... and going.

In total, Ingenuity successfully achieved an incredible 72 flights over three years, cementing its place in the history books as the first ever aerial Martian explorer.
Sadly, though, its mission came to an abrupt end recently when it was forced to make an emergency landing which caused irreparable damage to its rotors, preventing it from ever flying again.

NASA administrator Bill Nelson, who described Ingenuity as "the little helicopter that could", recently celebrated its achievements in a video announcing that the mission had come to an end (see below).

"Ingenuity has paved the way for future flight in our solar system, and it's leading the way for smarter, safer human missions to Mars and beyond," he said.

"That remarkable helicopter flew higher and farther than we ever imagined and helped NASA do what we do best - make the impossible, possible."



Source: BBC News | Comments (5)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
What a trooper it was.
Comment icon #2 Posted by NCC1701 1 month ago
There is nothing that you can't repair with some duct tape.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Waspie_Dwarf 1 month ago
If you have a roll of duct tape 140 million miles long you are welcome to give it a try.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Myles 1 month ago
Maybe someday some of the first humans on Mars can retrieve it.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Still Waters 27 days ago
Prototype for Mars Helicopter Will Soon Be on Display at National Air and Space Museum Laurie Leshin, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which oversaw the helicopter’s development, said, “I look forward to the day that one of our astronauts brings home Ingenuity and we can all visit it in the Smithsonian.” And while that may not happen for another decade at least, according to current planning, the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum recently announced it has received the prototype for the Ingenuity Mars helicopter for display. The popular museum on the Nat... [More]


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