Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

Ingenuity is a small robotic helicopter operating on Mars as part of NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. On April 19, 2021, it successfully completed the first powered controlled flight by an aircraft on a planet besides Earth, taking off vertically, hovering and landing. The solar-charged battery-powered coaxial drone rotorcraft is serving as a technology and operations demonstration for the potential use of flying probes on future missions to Mars and other worlds and will have the potential to scout locations of interest.

Ingenuity, which can travel up to 50 m (160 ft) downrange and then back to the starting area, uses autonomous control during its short flights, which are telerobotically planned and scripted by operators at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). It communicates directly with the Perseverance rover after each landing.