NASA’s Mars helicopter is ready for launch

NASA’s Mars helicopter is ready for launch

by Amy Thompson, Teslarati

NASA’s next Mars rover, recently dubbed Perseverance, is currently undergoing launch preparations at its launch site, the agency’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida. To that end, a key piece of hardware — the Mars helicopter — was just tested for the last time on Earth.

Weighing in at just under 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms), the helicopter’s fuselage is about the same size as a softball, and its dual blades will slice through the tenuous Martian atmosphere, rotating at nearly 3,000 rpm — roughly ten times that of its terrestrial counterparts.

The small rotorcraft, which will soon be attached to the rover’s belly, is designed to demonstrate if this technology can be used off-world. (A similar type of craft is scheduled to explore Titan, Saturn’s largest moon in the next decade.)

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