NASA plans to send a small, unmanned helicopter to Mars that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet.

It is part of the US space agency’s 2020 mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface and will mark the first time such an aircraft will be used on another planet.

Known as the Mars Helicopter, the remote-controlled device weighs less than four pounds (1.8kg) and its blades spin at almost 3,000rpm, roughly 10 times the rate employed by helicopters on Earth.

NASA officials said the aircraft will reach the Red Planet’s surface attached to the Mars 2020 rover that aims to carry out geological studies and ascertain the habitability of the Martian environment.

“NASA has a proud history of firsts,” said NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine.

“The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling.”… see more

source: skynews