First Video of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight – Including Takeoff and Landing

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In this video captured by NASA’s Perseverance rover, the agency’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took the first powered, controlled flight on another planet on April 19, 2021.

The rover was parked at “Van Zyl Overlook,” about 211 feet (64.3 meters) away in Mars’ Jezero Crater and chronicled the flight operations with its cameras.

These images from the rover’s Mastcam-Z cameras show the helicopter hovering above the Red Planet’s surface. During this first flight, the helicopter climbed to an altitude of 10 feet (3 meters), hovered, and then touched back down on the surface of Mars.

Van Zyl Overlook, Mars

The location where NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover observed the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s first powered controlled flight at Mars is called “Van Zyl Overlook,” after Jakob van Zyl. Van Zyl was the team’s longtime colleague, mentor, and leader at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. He passed away unexpectedly in August 2020, about a month after the launch of Perseverance. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Ingenuity is a technology demonstration. The 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) rotorcraft will help determine whether future explorations on Mars could include an aerial perspective.

Perseverance touched down at “Octavia E. Butler Landing” with Ingenuity attached to its belly on February 18, 2021. The helicopter was deployed to the surface on April 3.

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