How NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter opened the Martian skies to exploration

closeup of a small helicopter on a rocky, red-dirt landscape

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter achieved many milestones during its 72 Red Planet flights.

As a technology demonstrator Ingenuity was tasked with performing up to five flights over the course of 30 Earth days. But from its celebrated maiden voyage on April 19, 2021, to its final air voyage on January 18, 2024, Ingenuity continued to push its self-made limits in altitude achieved, distance flown and speed achieved during those nearly three years.

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