Mars helicopter’s final resting place named after the fictional location in ‘The Lord of the Rings’

The final resting place of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is named “Valinor Hills” after the fictional location in J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy novels, which include “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. NASA officials announced it on February 6, 2024.

NASA named the final airfield of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter Valinor Hills
NASA named the final airfield of the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter “Valinor Hills”. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU/MSSS)

It’s the place on Mars where the Ingenuity helicopter completed its final 72nd flight on January 18, 2024, and then it became unable to fly.

The Ingenuity helicopter’s companion Perseverance rover took the image of the final resting place of Ingenuity on February 4, 2024, from a distance of about 450 meters.

The Perseverance Rover's Mastcam-Z camera spotted the Ingenuity Mars helicopter sitting alone on Martian sand dunes on February 4, 2024
Zoomed raw image of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter that Perseverance rover took on February 4, 2024. (Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

Probably it is the closest approach of the Perseverance rover to its flying companion for the rest of the mission.

The Ingenuity helicopter deserves this recognition for its outstanding achievements. The meaning of “Valinor” is “the Undying Lands.”

Ingenuity helicopter became the first aircraft to achieve controlled and powered flight on another planet, giving the science team access to landscapes inaccessible to any rover.

The helicopter was operational for about three years on Mars. In these three years, it performed 72 flights and flew 17 kilometers (11 miles) in more than two hours.

NASA wrote in a statement, “While it is sad to be leaving Ingenuity behind, the future is bright for Perseverance, and the science team is in high spirits.”

The Ingenuity helicopter landed on Mars, attached to the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover, on February 18, 2021, and first flew in the Martian air on April 19, 2021.

Although Ingenuity’s mission has ended, its companion Perseverance rover will continue to explore Mars.

Related article: NASA’s Perseverance rover spots Mars helicopter sitting alone on sand dunes

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Ashim Chandra Sarkar founded Space & Telescope in 2022. He holds a M.Sc. in physics and has five years of research experience in optical astronomy. His passion for astronomy inspired him to open this website. He is responsible for the editorial vision of

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