Mars Is About to Have Its ‘Wright Brothers Moment’

June 23, 2020

As part of its next Mars mission, NASA is sending an experimental helicopter to fly through the red planet’s thin atmosphere.

NASA is about to take to the air on another planet. As part of its next mission to Mars, leaving Earth this summer, the space agency will attempt to do something that has never been done before: fly a helicopter through the rarefied atmosphere of Mars. If it works, the small helicopter, named Ingenuity, will open a new way for future robotic explorers to get a bird’s-eye view of Mars and other worlds in the solar system. “This is very analogous to the Wright brothers moment, but on another planet,” said MiMi Aung, the project manager of the Mars helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory over the past six years.

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