Spaceflight Insider

NASA releases 3D video of Ingenuity Mars Helicopter’s 3rd flight

On April 25, 2021, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter performed its third test flight. Recently, NASA engineers converted a video of the flight into anaglyph 3D.

As part of the third flight, the Perseverance Rover’s Mastcam-Z, which is a state-of-the-art dual-camera, zoomable imaging system, captured a video of Ingenuity. NASA recently converted it into 3D. You can view this on NASA’s YouTube channel using red and cyan 3D glasses.

Justin Maki, who is an imaging scientist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, has headed the team that rendered the video imaging of Ingenuity’s third flight and had it converted to anaglyph, which is when the frames are optimized for viewing when seen through color-filtered glasses.

“The Mastcam-Z video capability was inherited from the Mars Science Laboratory MARDI (MArs Descent Imager) camera,” Maki said in a NASA news release. “To be reusing this capability on a new mission by acquiring 3D video of a helicopter flying above the surface of Mars is just spectacular.”

This adds an element of depth to another aspect of the historical moments being captured on the red planet’s surface. It also gives the viewer the feeling of standing on the surface of Mars, with the flight happening right in front of their eyes.

NASA and JPL are continuing to pushing the envelope with the Ingenuity. Now that its primary technology demonstration mission is completed, the team has transitioned into an operations demonstration phase.

Video courtesy of JPL


A native of Lonedell, Missouri, Michael McCabe is a former Long Island firefighter and emergency medical technician. He is a non-active Florida EMT with 20 years of fire rescue experience. He is also a lifelong science fiction and space enthusiast. At the age of 10, he watched in his school classroom as the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded in 1986. In 2008, he moved to the Sunshine State and works as a private tour guide at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex for a private company based in Orlando. McCabe has been a fan of SpaceFlight Insider since our inception in 2013. He reached out to ask how he could assist our efforts to spread space flight awareness. Shortly thereafter, he was welcomed into our expanding team.

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