6 Things to Know About NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

The first helicopter attempting to fly on another planet is a marvel of engineering. Get up to speed with these key facts about its plans.When NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover launches from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida later this summer, an innovative experiment will ride along: the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter.

Ingenuity may weigh only about 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms), but it has some outsize ambitions. “The Wright Brothers showed that powered flight in Earth’s atmosphere was possible, using an experimental aircraft,” said Håvard Grip, Ingenuity’s chief pilot at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. “With Ingenuity, we’re trying to do the same for Mars.”

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