VIDEO: Rough Landing Ends NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter Mission

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NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter has suffered rotor damage, and has been permanently grounded.

Ingenuity was originally designed to perform up to 5 flights over 30 days, but ended up performed an astonishing 72 flights over nearly 3 years, logging flights up to 14 times farther than planned. Ingenuity landed on Mars February 18 2021, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover, and first took flight on April 19 2021:

But unfortunately, during its 72nd flight on January 18 2024, Ingenuity lost contact with the Perseverance rover, which acts as a comm relay to NASA, and upon reestablishing contact it was learned that the helicopter had suffered one or more damaged rotors, apparently due to a rough landing. And, though communication with Ingenuity can be maintained, the craft is no longer capable of flight.

In response, NASA has produced this “Thank You Ingenuity” video:


Hopefully, a new/improved helicopter or drone craft will be onboard the next rover sent to Mars, and the amazing and inspiration exploration will continue. (And Elon Musk, if you’re reading this, I want to go…part of the crew on the first transport to Mars, to begin setting up facilities for human habitation…)

Fat chance, but I can dream, right?

A Side Note: I first became aware of NASA’s initial and ongoing exploration of Mars via the documentary Good Night Oppy, about the first Mars rover Opportunity, which landed on Mars Januart 24 2002 (on my birthday, no less!), and lasted much longer than expected (over 16 years, with contact with the rover being lost for good June 10 2018). Good Night Oppy is available on Amazon Prime Video, and I highly recommend it!

After watching Good Night Oppy I became a huge fan, and follow the adventures of the newer Perseverance Mars rover, which landed on Mars February 18 2021 and is still in operation, and of course the Ingenuity Mars helicopter, which lasted nearly 3 years, but now, unfortunately, its mission has ended. (As well as space exploration in general, including SpaceX, Blue Origin, and NASA, just to name a few).

And, for anyone who may be interested: Lifeology Store offers custom mugs featuring both Opportunity and Perseverance Mars rovers, including renditions of each plus interesting mission stats. Just click through the pics below to check them out:

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Rand Eastwood

Rand Eastwood is an author & blogger, artist & craftsman, and business owner currently residing in Las Vegas, NV. Certified in both nutrition and ancestral health, he is a healthy nutrition & lifestyle advocate. Ideologically, he describes himself as an Individualist, Consensualist, Syncretist, and Autarchist. Under Eastwood Innovations, LLC he owns/operates Lifeology Store, an online store that offers exclusive, unique, specialty printed products & gifts of his own design. Also, much of his fiction—including some award-winners—is included in his book Rolling The Bones. He also has an extensive novel under development (working title Primeval), along with various other writing projects. To follow his work, you can subscribe to this blog (form in sidebar & below each post, or simply use this quick sign-up form), subscribe to INSIGHTS Blog on Substack, friend him on Facebook, like/follow the INSIGHTS Blog FB page, like/follow his Lifeology Store FB page, follow his author page on Amazon and Goodreads for future book releases, and visit/shop his custom designed products in Lifeology Store. His mantra: "To seek, discover, assimilate, and disseminate Truth."