NASA’s Martian Helicopter Readies for Inaugural Flight on Earth’s Neighbor
NASA is preparing its four-pound space helicopter named ingenuity to attempt the first-ever powered and controlled aircraft flight on a planet that is not Earth. The helicopter has completed some major milestones over the past several weeks after traveling to Mars alongside NASA’s Perseverance Rover in late February. Ingenuity’s goal is to open doors for future martian exploration and unlocking further exploration into Mars.
The helicopter was built by officials within NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with support from other directorates. The helicopter will conduct a series of experimental flight tests to explore what is possible in the future on Mars. The machine will not carry any science instruments onboard or conduct testing for signs of life like the Perseverance rover. Potential applications of flight on Mars may include accessing spaces that rovers cannot due to geography and land obstacles.