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First ‘space helicopter’ set to take to Martian skies

Written by on February 12, 2021

Artist’s concept of NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on Mars.JPL / NASA
First ‘space helicopter’ set to take to Martian skies

When NASA’s Perseverance rover touches down next week, it will carry one of the strangest devices ever seen on Mars — a drone destined to make the first controlled flights on an extraterrestrial planet.

Dubbed “Ingenuity,” the drone weighs just 4 pounds, and it will stay stored beneath the rover’s belly while Perseverance runs through its initial surface checks and experiments.

But about the middle of April, the rover will scout out a flat area without large rocks to deploy the drone, and soon after that Perseverance will release Ingenuity to make the first flights on Mars.

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