Nasa team bids farewell to Mars Ingenuity helicopter with tears

It is almost unbelievable, experts says about Mars copter

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Web Desk
Ingenuity helicopter sent its last message to Earth. — Nasa/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS
Ingenuity helicopter sent its last message to Earth. — Nasa/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS

US space agency Nasa bid adieu Tuesday to its Mars Ingenuity helicopter that was sent to the red planet to collect data in 2021, marking the conclusion of the mission, according to the release by Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Ingenuity helicopter sent its last message to Earth to its managers at the JPL, after successfully meeting the required objectives of flying 72 times in the thin atmosphere of Mars. The final one was on January 18.

A team lead at JPL John Anderson said: "With apologies to Dylan Thomas, Ingenuity will not be going gently into that good Martian night."

He also added while receiving final data from the mission: "It is almost unbelievable that after over 1,000 Martian days on the surface, 72 flights, and one rough landing, she still has something to give."

The helicopter has now been assigned its new role. — Nasa/JPL-Caltech
The helicopter has now been assigned its new role. — Nasa/JPL-Caltech

The mission was concluded in January when the Ingenuity helicopter during its 72nd flight damaged one of its blades. However, it was communicating with Earth properly.

The helicopter has now been assigned its new role.

According to Nasa, "it flew over 14 times farther than the distance expected, and logged more than two hours of total flight time."

It will now be stationary and only collect data beneficial for future explorers, as it is currently working autonomously with waking up, taking a flight, and evaluating its performance.

Ingenuity’s project manager, Teddy Tzanetos said: "Thank you, Ingenuity, for inspiring a small group of people to overcome seemingly insurmountable odds at the frontiers of space."