Aerospace America: Martian Aviator

January 27, 2023

Even before the now-famous Ingenuity helicopter made its first flight on Mars in 2021, Ben Pipenberg and his colleagues at drone maker AeroVironment began thinking about the next iteration of the aircraft whose airframe and rotor system they built. Knowing about the plan to bring samples of Mars back to Earth, they conceptualized and prototyped a helo with a gripper capable of grasping sample tubes and wheels to carefully roll up to an ascent vehicle.

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