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PHOTOS: First NASA helicopter lands on Planet MARS


First NASA helicopter lands on Planet MARS

The world’s first space helicopter dropped on Martian soil on Saturday from the Perseverance rover as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration prepares for the Ingenuity to make its first flight on the Red Planet.

According to Daily Mail, the first test of the $85million drone, which costs more than the baseline price of $80million for the F-35 fighter jet, will be to hold up on the bitterly cold Martian soil.

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First NASA helicopter lands on Planet MARS

The helicopter would subsequently be used in a demonstration to test powered flight on another world for the first time.

The drone is expected to ‘take off a few feet from the ground, hover in the air for about 20 to 30 seconds, and land’, according to NASA.

The flight would take place on April 11 and last for 90 seconds without getting higher than 10 feet off the ground, the Wall Street Journal reported.

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First NASA helicopter lands on Planet MARS

‘#MarsHelicopter touchdown confirmed! Its 293 million mile (471 million km) journey aboard @NASAPersevere ended with the final drop of 4 inches (10 cm) from the rover’s belly to the surface of Mars today. Next milestone? Survive the night,’ the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory tweeted.

In a statement last month, NASA compared the flight to that of the Wright Brothers.

First NASA helicopter lands on Planet MARS

‘Orville and Wilbur Wright covered 120 feet in 12 seconds during the first flight. The Wright brothers made four flights that day, each longer than the previous.’

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Meanwhile, an image with the tweet shows the drone standing freely on the flight field some distance from the rover.

NASA said that, despite its planned short time, the flight ‘will be a major milestone’ as ‘the very first powered flight in the extremely thin atmosphere of Mars.’