NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Team Says Goodbye … for Now | Space

The final downlink shift by the Ingenuity team was a time to reflect on a highly successful mission — and to prepare the first aircraft on another world for its new role.

Engineers working on NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter assembled for one last time in a control room at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California on Tuesday, April 16, to monitor a transmission from the history-making helicopter. While the mission ended Jan. 25, the rotorcraft has remained in communication with the agency’s Perseverance Mars rover, which serves as a base station for Ingenuity. This transmission, received through the antennas of NASA’s Deep Space Network, marked the final time the mission team would be working together on Ingenuity operations.

Now the helicopter is ready for its final act: to serve as a stationary testbed, collecting data that could benefit future explorers of the Red Planet.

Throughout its mission on the Red Planet, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter received thousands of electronic postcards filled with well wishes from all over the world via the mission’s website. In this video, members of the helicopter team read some of those messages. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

“With apologies to Dylan Thomas, Ingenuity will not be going gently into that good Martian night,” said Josh…


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