Geeking Science: Drone Ingenuity

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter, photographed by the agency’s Perseverance rover on April 16, 2023. The rover captured this enhanced-color image using its Mastcam-Z instrument.

The drone is still at it, through dust and desire, Ingenuity – the Mars Helicopter – keeps going. Over fifty flights on another world, greatly adding to the scope of the rover missions with ariel reconnaissance. The first five missions were planned, the other forty plus (and still growing) flights are bonus. Over 90 minutes of airtime. Two years.

The machine was specially made for Mars thin atmosphere with blades that spin 10 times faster than what we need on Earth. (Mathewson)

What does this mean? Get ready to Geek OUT!!! Drones FLEETS flying Mars (not just satellites). Instead of the inch by precious inch of our rovers, we will have meters of flight, and maybe, one day, kilometers. Also RETRIEVAL of samples. The next group going to Mars will be picking up the rover soil samples, take them to a rocket to return the samples to earth. (Second video below)

And now that we have had proof of concept, other planets are being looked at too. If it got atmosphere, we will figure out how to fly it.

Except for Venus. That place is stoopid crazy hot.



Mathewson, Samantha. “Perseverance Mars rover snaps amazing shot of dusty Ingenuity helicopter (photo).” yahoo!news. 21 April 2023. – last viewed 5/7/2023.

Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Celebrates 50 Flights.” (youtube has stopped giving dates). See embed above – last viewed 5/7/2023.

Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “Ingenuity Helicopter Inspires Future Flights on Mars (Mars Report – April 2023)”. (youtube has stopped giving dates). See embed above – last viewed 5/7/2023. “Nasa Science – Mars Helicopter Tech Demo.” (undated) – – last viewed 5/7/2023.

Wall, Mike. “Mars helicopter Ingenuity aces 40th Red Planet flight.” 20 January 2023. – last viewed 5/7/2023.


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