Washington, D.C. – NASA is targeting no earlier than Monday, April 19th, 2021 for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at approximately 2:30am CDT (12:30am PDT).
Data from the first flight will return to Earth a few hours following the autonomous flight. A livestream will begin at 5:15am CDT (3:15am PDT) as the helicopter team prepares to receive the data downlink in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).
If the flight takes place April 19th, a postflight briefing will be held at 1:00pm CDT (11:00am PDT).
The participants are:
- Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate
- Michael Watkins, JPL director
- MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL
- Bob Balaram, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief engineer at JPL
- Håvard Grip, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter chief pilot at JPL
- Justin Maki, Perseverance Mars rover imaging scientist and deputy principal investigator of Mastcam-Z instrument at JPL
The public also may ask questions on social media during the livestream and briefing using #MarsHelicopter.
Find the latest schedule updates at:
The original flight date of April 11th shifted as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue. The rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.
This technology demonstration is supported by NASA’s Science, Aeronautics Research, and Space Technology mission directorates. JPL, managed for NASA by Caltech in Pasadena, California, built and manages operations for Ingenuity and the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover.
An Ingenuity press kit is available at: