Tag Archives: JPL

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity, built by JPL, captures spectacular view from its Fifth Flight.

NASA JPL, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, Calif. – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter took this color image from an altitude of 33 feet (10 meters) during its fifth flight on May 7, 2021. This was the helicopter’s first one-way flight, and it settled down at a new landing location 423 feet (129 meters) south of its previous location at Wright Brothers Field. The contrast has been enhanced to show surface details.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which also manages the technology demonstration project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA’s Science, Aeronautics Research, and Space Technology mission directorates. NASA’s Ames Research Center in California’s Silicon Valley, and NASA’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity’s development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Martin Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System.

About the mission

The Mars Helicopter, Ingenuity, is a small, autonomous aircraft that will be carried to the surface of the Red Planet attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover. Its mission is experimental in nature and completely independent of the rover’s science mission. In the months after landing, the helicopter will be placed on the surface to test – for the first time ever – powered flight in the thin Martian air. Its performance during these experimental test flights will help inform decisions relating to considering small helicopters for future Mars missions, where they could perform in a support role as robotic scouts, surveying terrain from above, or as full standalone science craft carrying instrument payloads. Taking to the air would give scientists a new perspective on a region’s geology and even allow them to peer into areas that are too steep or slippery to send a rover. In the distant future, they might even help astronauts explore Mars. The project is solely a demonstration of technology; it is not designed to support the Mars 2020/Perseverance mission, which is searching for signs of ancient life and collecting samples of rock and sediment in tubes for potential return to Earth by later missions.

Mar’s Rover LIVE Landing Broadcast: Perseverance Rover Lands on Mars.

Direct from America’s space program to YouTube, watch NASA TV live streaming here to get the latest from our exploration of the universe and learn how we discover our home planet. NASA TV airs a variety of regularly scheduled, pre-recorded educational and public relations programming 24 hours a day on its various channels. The network also provides an array of live programming, such as coverage of missions, events (spacewalks, media interviews, educational broadcasts), press conferences and rocket launches. In the United States, NASA Television’s Public and Media channels are MPEG-2 digital C-band signals carried by QPSK/DVB-S modulation on satellite AMC-3, transponder 15C, at 87 degrees west longitude. Downlink frequency is 4000 MHz, horizontal polarization, with a data rate of 38.86 Mhz, symbol rate of 28.1115 Ms/s, and ¾ FEC. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception

NASA – Happening now, Perseverance Rover is Landing on Mars. Landing is happening now, parachutes had deployed. Landing soon!

Perseverance has landed! Approximately at 12:55 p.m.

Cassini’s Grand Finale orbits — the final orbits of its nearly 20-year mission — between the rings and the planet where no spacecraft has ventured before on September 15, 2017.

Pasadena, Calif. , NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, CALtech – After almost 20 years in space, NASA’s Cassini spacecraft begins the final chapter of its remarkable story of exploration: its Grand Finale. In Cassini’s Grand Finale orbits — the final orbits of its nearly 20-year mission — the spacecraft travels in an elliptical path that sends it diving at tens of thousands of miles per hour through the 1,500-mile-wide (2,400-kilometer) space between the rings and the planet where no spacecraft has ventured before.

Color illustration of Cassini diving between Saturn and its innermost ring.
In the still from the short film Cassini’s Grand Finale, the spacecraft is shown diving between Saturn and the planet’s innermost ring on April 7, 2017 Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

Cassini’s current position image uses real spacecraft trajectories and is updated every five minutes. Distance and velocities are updated in real-time. For a full 3D, immersive experience download NASA’s free Eyes on the Solar System app. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Each of these last 22 orbits takes about six and a half days to complete. They begin April 22 and end Sept. 15. When Cassini is nearest to Saturn during each orbit, the spacecraft’s speed ranges between 75,000 and 78,000 miles per hour (121,000 and 126,000 kilometers per hour), depending on the orbit. The Grand Finale orbits are so named because they not only carry Cassini to its end, but because they are truly grand. The spacecraft flies through an unexplored region of the Saturnian system, producing unique images and attempting to solve longtime mysteries, such as the mass of Saturn’s rings and the planet’s rotation rate — the length of a Saturn day. And then during Cassini’s last five orbits, the spacecraft dips down to directly sample Saturn’s upper atmosphere.

Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. › Full image and caption
Cassini gazes across the icy rings of Saturn toward the icy moon Tethys, whose night side is illuminated by Saturnshine, or sunlight reflected by the planet. NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science Institute

The summaries posted on this page for each Grand Finale orbit include only a few highlights of the many unparalleled science investigations that Cassini performs during these unprecedented orbits. Also, because Saturn is a gas giant, Cassini can’t be described as being a certain distance from the planet’s “surface.” So, to convey Cassini’s distance from Saturn, each summary also includes the spacecraft’s closest approach to Saturn’s 1-bar level for that orbit. A bar is the atmospheric pressure you experience on Earth at sea level.

A short, animated video describing Cassini’s Grand Finale. Download ›d

The Cassini mission is a cooperative project of NASA, ESA (the European Space Agency) and the Italian Space Agency. The Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the mission for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, Washington. The Cassini orbiter and its two onboard cameras were designed, developed and assembled at JPL. The imaging operations center is based at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colorado. For more information about the Cassini-Huygens mission visit https://saturn.jpl.nasa.gov and http://www.nasa.gov/cassini . The Cassini imaging team homepage is at http://ciclops.org . Cassini’s Grand Finale orbits — the final orbits of its nearly 20-year mission — the spacecraft travels in an elliptical path that sends it diving at tens of thousands of miles per hour through  space between the rings and the planet where no spacecraft has ventured before on September 15, 2017.