Mars helicopter

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NASA´s rover lands on Mars on February 18, 2021. A rover is a special car. It travels on the moon or Mars. The rover does not travel alone to Mars. It carries a small helicopter, too.

Landing on Mars is not easy. The helicopter is on the rover´s bottom part. A special metal thing keeps it safe during the landing.

Mars has different gravity and atmosphere than Earth. The helicopter must be small and light. The rover and the helicopter need special heating, too. It can be up to minus 90 degrees on Mars at night. Some electrical parts can freeze or break.

The rover is taking the helicopter to a special place. The helicopter will fly from there. The first flight will be 31 days long. It will be the first flight on another planet.

NASA´s Perseverance rover landed on Mars on February 18, 2021. It carried a helicopter that was at the bottom of the rover. A special metal cover kept the helicopter safe during the landing.

Currently, the rover is on its way to a place where the helicopter will try to fly for the first time. Nothing that people ever made has flown on another planet before.

It was not easy to make an aircraft that could fly on Mars. Mars has different gravity and atmosphere, too. It means that the helicopter must be very small and light. Also, it gets very cold on Mars at night, and both the rover and the helicopter must have special heating. It protects electrical parts from freezing and breaking.

On April 8, the helicopter will make the first attempt to fly. If it is successful, it can change the way that people explore Mars.

On April 8, 2021, NASA is targeting for the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter to make the first attempt at a powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

Ingenuity remains attached to the belly of NASA´s Perseverance rover that touched down on Mars on February 18. On March 21, the rover deployed shield that protected Ingenuity during landing. Currently, the rover is in transit to the place where Ingenuity will attempt to fly.

However, flying in a controlled manner on Mars is far more difficult than flying on Earth because Mars has about one-third of Earth´s gravity, and its atmosphere is 1% as dense as Earth´s at the surface. During Martian daytime, the planet receives only about half the amount of solar energy that reaches Earth during its daytime, and nighttime temperatures can drop as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius, which can freeze and crack unprotected electrical components.

If successful, Ingenuity could expand the horizons and broaden the scope of what is possible with Mars exploration.

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