Mars Ingenuity helicopter ends mission (1) infographic
Graphic shows details of Ingenuity’s journey across Mars.


Mars helicopter ends ground-breaking mission

By Jordi Bou

January 26, 2024 - NASA’s Ingenuity, the first vehicle to achieve a powered flight on another world, has ended its $85m mission that exceeded all expectations.

The fate of Ingenuity was sealed when imagery beamed back to Earth after its 72nd and final flight on Jan 18 showed that “one or more of its rotor blades” were damaged and it was “no longer capable of flight”, NASA officials said.

Ingenuity reached the Red Planet in February 2021 by riding on the belly of the Perseverance rover.

During its lifespan of three years, the helicopter flew 14 times further than originally planned, logging more than two hours of flight time and covering a distance of 17km on 72 flights.

It soared as high as 24m and hit speeds of up to 36km/h.

Engineers will run final tests on Ingenuity and download remaining images from its onboard computer, NASA said.

PUBLISHED: 29/01/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: NASA/JPL-Caltech