Podcaster: Beth Johnson, Franck Marchis, and Simon Steel (alternate hosts); Guest: Teddy Tzanetos

Title: SETI Live –  From Earth to Mars: The Incredible Story of the Ingenuity Helicopter

Organization: SETI Institute



Recorded 15 February, 2024.

With a first flight on April 19, 2021, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter broke ground on new capabilities for remote planetary missions. For nearly three years, the little drone far exceeded the originally planned technology demonstration of up to five flights, taking off and landing 72 times! Sadly, damage to the rotor blades has now left Ginny grounded, but the spacecraft has paved the way for future aerial explorers at Mars and, potentially, other space destinations.

Join senior astronomer and Director of Unistellar Citizen Science Dr. Franck Marchis in this exciting SETI Live with Ingenuity Team Lead Teddy Tzanetos, as they look back at the stunning accomplishments of this small but mighty craft and discuss what’s next for the future of drones and planetary science. 

Bio: Beth Johnson is a communications specialist and social media manager with a degree in physics and master’s work in planetary science. She specializes in meteor showers, icy moons, and anything with volcanoes.

Franck Marchis is a senior planetary astronomer and chair of the exoplanet group at the Carl Sagan Center of the SETI Institute and Chief Scientific Officer and Founder at Unistellar. He has dedicated his work to the study of our solar system, specifically the search for asteroids with moons, using mainly ground-based telescopes equipped with adaptive optics.

Simon Steel is Deputy Director of the Carl Sagan Center for Research at the SETI Institute. As an observational astrophysicist, he specialized in optical spectrophotometry, with an interest in the star formation histories of galaxies.

Teddy Tzanetos, Ingenuity Team Lead

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365 Days of Astronomy

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