NASA Mars Helicopter Team Chief Looks to Aerospace Horizons as NBAA-BACE Keynoter

Contact: Dan Hubbard, 202-783-9360,

Washington, DC, Oct. 6, 2021 – The National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is pleased to welcome Robotics Technologist Teddy Tzanetos, the Operations Lead for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), as a featured speaker for the Day One Keynote on Oct. 12 at NBAA’s Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (NBAA-BACE) in Las Vegas, NV.

After traveling more than 36 million miles over seven months attached to the belly of the Mars Perseverance rover and surviving a high-risk landing in February 2021, the Ingenuity helicopter took to the Martian skies on April 19, marking the first-ever powered flight on another planet. Originally intended to operate just 30 days, Ingenuity has instead made 13 successful flights on the Red Planet over six months, with its 14th excursion planned in the coming weeks.

“The spirit of human ingenuity has always guided our industry to boundaries thought unimaginable,” said NBAA President and CEO Ed Bolen. “Likewise, the immense success of Ingenuity is testament to our ability to accomplish something so futuristic that it seemed like science fiction just a few years ago. I am excited to welcome Teddy to tell us that story at NBAA-BACE.”

Before joining JPL in 2017, Tzanetos served as Head of Engineering at The Drone Racing League, where he managed a team of developers and engineers to build unmanned aircraft system (UAS) racing infrastructure, embedded avionics and an online first-person view (FPV) simulator. Tzanetos graduated from MIT with a B.S. & M.Eng in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in 2012 and 2013, respectively.

From autonomous rotorcraft traveling over the surface of Mars to the emerging market for advanced air mobility (AAM) here on Earth, and other exciting developments in avionics, airframe and propulsion technologies, the 2021 edition of NBAA-BACE will focus on the advances carrying the industry toward a thrilling, and increasingly sustainable, future.

NBAA-BACE will take place Oct. 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new West Hall, with an Outdoor Aircraft Display and new Owner/Single-Pilot Pavilion at nearby Henderson Executive Airport (HND). More information is available at

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Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, the National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) is the leading organization for companies that rely on general aviation aircraft to help make their businesses more efficient, productive and successful. The association represents more than 10,000 company and professional members and provides more than 100 products and services to the business aviation community, including the NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the world’s largest civil aviation trade show. Learn more about NBAA at

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