Illustration envisions Mars Helicopter during a flight attempt above the Red Planet The Month of Ingenuity: Mars Helicopter Flights The Mars Helicopter, which hitched a ride to Mars beneath the Perseverance rover, is nearly ready to be released to surface for its upcoming test flights. Tune in for an interactive webinar preview on April 5 at 10:30 a.m. PDT/1:30 p.m. EDT Live Webinar Q&A | Meet the Helicopter

Taking Flight on Another World

Mars Helicopter with Perseverance rover in the background

The Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, is a technology demonstration to test powered flight on another world for the first time. It hitched a ride to Mars on the Perseverance rover. Once the rover reaches a suitable “helipad” location, it will release Ingenuity to perform a series of test flights over a 30-Martian-day experimental window beginning in early April.

For the first flight, the helicopter will take off a few feet from the ground, hover in the air for about 20 to 30 seconds, and land. That will be a major milestone: the very first powered flight in the extremely thin atmosphere of Mars. After that, the team will attempt additional experimental flights of incrementally farther distance and greater altitude. After the helicopter completes its technology demonstration, Perseverance will continue its scientific mission.

-NASA also photos