October 23, 2021

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Mars helicopter Ingenuity: NASA’s first aircraft to fly on Red Planet

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An artist’s impression of NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity. The “marscopter” will land with the rover Feb. 18 and soon make its first flight, the first powered flight on another world.  (Image credit: NASA)

NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity is the first aircraft ever to fly on the Red Planet. 

It launched to the red world in the summer of 2020 on NASA’s Perseverance rover as part of the agency’s Mars 2020 mission. They landed together on Feb. 18, 2021 in Jezero Crater — an ancient delta that scientists think could hold evidence of past life — on the surface of Mars. And, tucked into the rover’s belly was the first-ever Mars helicopter, dubbed Ingenuity (a moniker given by Alabama student Vaneeza Rupani).

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