NASA Selects Area for Mars Ingenuity Helicopter, to Hold Briefing on Flights

An artist’s concept of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter flying through the Red Planet’s skies. (Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

PASADENA, Calif. (NASA PR) — Members of the projects will lay out the steps necessary before the helicopter attempts its historic test flights.

NASA will hold a virtual media briefing at 1:30 p.m. EDT (10:30 a.m. PDT) Tuesday, March 23, to discuss upcoming activities for the agency’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter. The teams operating Ingenuity and NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover have chosen the flight zone where the helicopter will attempt the first powered, controlled flights on another planet.

The briefing will air live on NASA Television, the NASA app, and the agency’s website and will livestream on multiple agency social media platforms, including the YouTube and Facebook channels for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

Briefing participants include:

  • Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s Planetary Science Division, NASA Headquarters
  • Bobby Braun, director for planetary science, JPL
  • J. (Bob) Balaram, Ingenuity chief engineer, JPL
  • Håvard Grip, Ingenuity chief pilot, JPL
  • Farah Alibay, Perseverance integration lead for Ingenuity, JPL

Members of the media and the public also may ask questions on social media during the briefing using #MarsHelicopter.

Ingenuity’s test flights are expected to begin no earlier than the first week of April. The exact timing of the first flight will remain fluid as engineers work out details on the timeline for deployments and vehicle positioning of Perseverance and Ingenuity. Photos showing some of the progress are available on Perseverance’s raw images website.

Perseverance – with Ingenuity attached to its belly – landed in Jezero Crater Feb. 18. Ingenuity is a technology demonstration with a limited test flight duration of up to 31 days (30 Mars days, or sols). The rover will deploy the helicopter and provide environmental monitoring and imaging support. It also hosts Ingenuity’s base station, enabling communication with mission controllers on Earth.

An Ingenuity press kit, with more information about the helicopter, is available at:

https://go.nasa.gov/ingenuity-press-kit

More information is also available on the Ingenuity website:

https://mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter

To learn more about Perseverance, visit:

https://nasa.gov/perseverance

and

https://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/