Helicopter Name

Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech | Full image and caption

Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, submitted by Vaneeza Rupani of Tuscaloosa County High School in Northport, Alabama


Weight: About 4.0 pounds (1.8 kilograms) on Earth, and about 1.5 pounds (0.68 kilograms) on Mars

Height: 1.6 feet (0.49 meters)

Rotor system: Four specially made carbon fiber blades arranged into two 4-foot-long (1.2-meter-long) counter-rotating rotors that spin at roughly 2,400 rpm

Fuselage (body) dimensions: 5.4 inches by 7.7 inches by 6.4 inches (13.6 centimeters by 19.5 centimeters by 16.3 centimeters); four carbon composite landing legs, each 1.26 feet (0.384 meters) long, giving the helicopter about 5 inches (13 centimeters) of clearance above the ground

Power: Solar array on top of the rotor system charges six lithium-ion batteries


Two cameras on Ingenuity: One color with a horizon-facing view for terrain images and one black-and-white for navigation


Launch: July 30, 2020, 7:50 a.m. EDT (4:50 a.m. PDT)

Launch site: Space Launch Complex 41, Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida

Launch vehicle: United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V 541

Spacecraft’s distance to travel from Earth to Mars (July 30 launch): 293 million miles (471 million kilometers)

Surface Mission

This illustration depicts Mars Helicopter Ingenuity during a test flight on Mars. Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech | Full image and caption

Time of Mars landing: Feb. 18, 2021, 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST). The time of day at the landing site will be 3:53 p.m. local mean solar time.

Landing site: Jezero Crater, about 18 degrees latitude, 77 degrees longitude

Ingenuity flight test program duration: Up to 30 Martian days (about 31 Earth days)


Mars Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech |
Full image and caption

Size: Approximately half the diameter of Earth but twice the diameter of Earth’s Moon. As a desert planet, Mars has roughly the same amount of surface area as the dry land on Earth.

Mass: About 10% of Earth’s

Gravity: About 38% as strong as Earth’s

Orbit: Elliptical and about 1.5 times farther from the Sun than Earth is (about 141.5 million miles or 227.7 million kilometers from the Sun, on average)

Year: One Mars year (one revolution around the Sun) takes 687 Earth days

Day: One Mars day, or sol (one rotation), is 24 hours, 39 minutes, 35 seconds long

Atmosphere: About 1% the density of Earth’s atmosphere at the surface

Temperature: Surface temperature averages minus 64 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 53 degrees Celsius); varies from minus 199 Fahrenheit (minus 128 Celsius) during a polar night to 80 Fahrenheit (27 Celsius) midday at the equator at closest point in orbit to Sun

Distance from Earth on Feb. 18, 2021: 127 million miles (205 million kilometers)


NASA has invested about $85 million to build the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, accommodate it on Perseverance, and operate the helicopter on Mars.