In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on Mars

In an interplanetary first, NASA to fly a helicopter on MarsNASA said on Friday it will send a small helicopter to Mars as part of the U.S. space agency’s 2020 mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface, marking the first time such an aircraft will be used on another world. The remote-controlled Mars Helicopter, designed to take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere with twin counter-rotating blades, weighs about four pounds (1.8 kilograms), with a fuselage the size of a softball, NASA said. Its blades will spin at almost 3,000 rpm, roughly 10 times the rate employed by helicopters on Earth.


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