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Loay Elbasyouni

Pioneering Mars Helicopter Engineer

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Date of Birth:



Beit Hanoun, Northern Gaza, Palestine

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Loay Elbasyouni is acclaimed for his significant contributions to NASA's Mars Helicopter project, particularly for his role as an electrical and power electronics lead. His work has been crucial in achieving the historic feat of the first helicopter flight on Mars, symbolizing human ingenuity and perseverance.

Brief bio

Loay Elbasyouni is a Palestinian-American electrical engineer who played a pivotal role in NASA’s Mars 2020 mission. He was instrumental in the development of the Ingenuity Helicopter, which successfully demonstrated powered, controlled flight on another planet. His journey from Gaza to NASA is a testament to his determination and passion for engineering and space exploration.

Major Milestones


  • Growing up in Gaza: Loay built his first antenna as a child using kitchen parts and aluminum foil, demonstrating his early interest in engineering.

  • Education: He attended the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, where he earned his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Electrical Engineering...See More

  • Career in Renewable Energy: Worked in renewable energy technology and electric aircraft design before joining NASA.

  • Joining NASA’s Mars Project: Became part of the NASA team at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in 2014, contributing significantly to the Mars Helicopter project.

  • Ingenuity’s First Flight: Played a key role in the successful flight of the Ingenuity Helicopter on Mars in 2021...See More

  • Ingenuity Helicopter Development: Contributed to the design and implementation of the electrical systems for NASA's Ingenuity Helicopter.

  • Renewable Energy and Electric Vehicles: Worked on alternative energy and electric vehicles, gaining valuable experience in electric propulsion systems.

  • Electrical Systems Expertise: Responsible for critical electrical systems including motors, controllers, and wiring on the Ingenuity project.

  • Promoting Science and Engineering: Serves as an inspiration for young engineers, especially those from challenging backgrounds, to pursue careers in science and technology.

  • Advancing Aerospace Engineering: Aims to further contribute to the field of aerospace engineering and renewable energy, planning to establish his own company focusing on clean and alternative energy sources.

Date of Last Update: 
January 14, 2024

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