NASA’s historic Mars helicopter Ingenuity grounded for good after 72 flights

February 18, 2024


NASA said on Thursday its Mars robot helicopter Ingenuity, the first vehicle to achieve powered, controlled flight on another world, has been grounded for good after flying dozens of times over three years, ending a landmark mission that far exceeded all expectations. The fate of Ingenuity was sealed when imagery beamed back to Earth after its 72nd and final flight on Jan. 18 showed that a portion of one of the miniature whirligig's twin rotor blades had broken off, leaving it incapable of further operation, NASA officials said. “It is bittersweet that I must announce that Ingenuity, the 'little helicopter that could' – and it kept saying, 'I think I can, I think I can' – well, it has now taken its last flight on Mars,” NASA Administrator Bill Nelson said in a video posted on social media.

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