NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is featured in a close-up taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of cameras that can be carried aboard the Perseverance rover. This image was taken on April 5, 2021, the 45th Martian day, or sol, of the mission.
Credits: NASA / JPL-Caltech / ASU
NASA is aiming no earlier than Sunday, April 11, for the Ingeniousness Mars Helicopters the first attempt at a controlled engine flight on another planet. To commemorate a month of Ingenuity flights, the agency will host several events to bring people to the ride.
Livestream confirming Ingenuitys first flight is set to begin around 3:30 am EDT Monday, April 12, on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agencys website, and will live on multi-agency social media platforms, including the JPL YouTube and Facebook channels.
The wisdom came to Mars Jezero Crater on February 18, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration with a planned test flight duration of up to 31 days (30 days Mars, or sols). The rover will provide support during flight operations, take pictures, collect environmental data, and host the base station that allows the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.
Flight data may change as engineers work on deployments, pre-flight checks, and vehicle positioning of both Perseverance and Ingenuity. The timing for the events will be updated as necessary, and the latest schedule will be available on the Helicopters Watch Online web page:
News Briefing and Schedule of Television Events
Virtual media updates before and after Ingenuitys’ first flight attempt and flight attempt livestream coverage will originate from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the south of California.
A pre-flight briefing at 1 pm EDT (10 am PDT) on Friday, April 9, will provide the latest details on helicopter operations and what to expect on the first day of the flight.
Information participants are expected to include:
- Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA for science, NASA Headquarters
- MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager, JPL
- Team Canham, Ingenious Operations Leader, JPL
- Amelia Quon, Ingeniousness room test engineer, JPL
- Elsa Jensen, Mastcam-Z uplink operations run, Malin Space Science Systems
If the helicopter flies on Sunday, April 11, as expected, the livestream will show the helicopter team analyzing the first test flight data at the Space Flight Operations Facility. JPLs starting at 3:30 am EDT (12:30 am PDT) on Monday, April 12th.
An in-flight briefing is expected to take place at 11 am EDT (8 am PDT) on Monday, April 12th.