Science and Exploration

Mars Ingenuity Helicopter After Two Years

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
April 20, 2023
Mars Ingenuity Helicopter After Two Years
Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

This enhanced color image of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was taken by the Mastcam-Z instrument aboard Perseverance on April 16, 2023, the 766th Martian day, or sol, of the rover’s mission. At the time the image was taken, the rover was about 75 feet (23 meters) away.

The helicopter’s first flight on Mars was on April 19, 2021. This is the best look the Ingenuity team has had of the rotorcraft since its first flight. Small diodes (visible more clearly in this image of helicopter) appear as small protrusions on the top of the helicopter’s solar panel.

The panel and the two 4-foot (1.2-meter) counter-rotating rotors have accumulated a fine coating of dust. The metalized insulating film covering the exterior of the helicopter’s fuselage appears to be intact. Ingenuity’s color, 13-megapixel, horizon-facing terrain camera can be seen at the center-bottom of the fuselage.

Larger image

SpaceRef co-founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.