Product Idea

NASA Mars Helicopter Ingenuity

The Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, is a technology demonstrator that aims to be the first rotorcraft to operate on another planet.  It is part of the Mars 2020 mission that will deliver the Perseverance Rover to the surface of the Red Planet on February 18, 2021.  Once deployed from the belly of the Rover, Ingenuity will make up to five autonomous flights with increasing range and complexity.  Its mission, separate from the primary science mission of the Rover, will pave the way for a new form of space exploration.

This is a 1:3 scale model of Ingenuity.  Turning the crank in the back of the model showcases the movement of the two rotors that spin in opposite directions.  The rotors have a total span of 50 studs (15.75 inches or 40 centimeters) and the entire model contains 729 pieces.

If you can't wait to build your own Ingenuity Helicopter model, I have created free step-by-step instructions that are available for download at Rebrickable.  The site also includes a 3D model file, an inventory of the parts, and other useful links.  Additional images and videos of this model can be found on Flickr.

I am a Mechanical Engineer and was involved with the design, assembly, and testing of the Perseverance Rover.  Working on the vehicle that will ferry Ingenuity to another planet to test a new method of space exploration inspired me to create this model.  Sharing it combines my passion for engineering, space exploration, and educational outreach.

The Mars 2020 Project and Mars Helicopter Technology Demonstration are managed for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington, by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), a division of Caltech in Southern California.  For more information, visit the official Mars Helicopter website:  mars.nasa.gov/technology/helicopter/