NASA Ingenuity detected that something strange adhered to its leg on Mars

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter found a strange object attached to its leg on Mars and scientists are a little scared.

Mars exploration has taken an unexpected turn with the recent incident involving NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. During its 33rd flight on the Red Planet, specifically over the Jezero crater, something unusual happened: it was detected that a strange object had attached itself to one of its legs . This event not only surprised the engineers and scientists responsible for the mission, but has also sparked a mix of astonishment and concern within the scientific community.

Ingenuity flight 33 on Mars in September 2022 featured a piece of debris flying off the drone.

An Unexpected Discovery

While Ingenuity carried out its mission to explore the Martian terrain with its partner, the Perseverance rover, the small helicopter's cameras captured the presence of debris stuck to its structure. What could initially be compared to a spider web or a piece of wrapping, this unidentified object was first observed during images captured in flight.

Details captured by the helicopter's navigation camera showed how debris gradually broke away and fell toward the Martian surface, allowing Ingenuity to complete its flight and land safely on the sandy landscape of Mars.

NASA's Response

Faced with this unusual incident, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) spoke out, ensuring that, after an exhaustive review of the flight telemetry and subsequent analysis, no signs of damage were found in the aircraft. However, the Ingenuity and Perseverance team of the Mars 2020 mission are dedicating efforts to determine the origin of this mysterious debris.

This event has not stopped Ingenuity's extended mission, which continues to demonstrate exceptional performance on Mars. Originally designed for just five flights, the drone is exceeding expectations and is set to multiply that number significantly.

Beyond the Advocacy: The Mission Continues

The presence of Ingenuity on Mars has an ambitious purpose: in addition to testing the feasibility of flight in the Martian atmosphere, NASA seeks to take advantage of these missions to prepare future helicopter shipments that will play a crucial role in collecting samples to be returned to Mars. Land. This project is part of broader space exploration efforts, where Perseverance plays a key role in the search for promising samples that can offer new answers about the possibility of past life on Mars.

In parallel, Ingenuity's mission provides crucial support to Perseverance, acting as a scout that facilitates the rover's navigation through complex terrain, such as the ancient river delta it is currently exploring. This approach is not only a testament to human innovation and ingenuity, but also underscores the importance of Mars as a key scientific target to better understand planetary habitability and the potential for life beyond Earth.


The incident of the foreign object attached to Ingenuity's leg opens a new chapter in the history of Mars exploration. Although it may cause some concern, this event also highlights the ability of robotic missions to adapt and continue their exploration in the face of unforeseen events. NASA's determination to unravel this mystery and its tireless pursuit of knowledge in deep space continue to inspire and push the boundaries of our understanding of the universe.

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