NASA has been inspecting Mars from close quarters on the ground by using landers and rovers. Orbital space crafts have also been used to observe the planet from far above as well. Now it has more ambitious plans in sight. NASA will soon tread the atmosphere of Mars mainly at low altitudes using a helicopter. The agency made an announcement on 11th May, 2018 regarding its plans to send the Mars Helicopter to the planet it is named after.
The expectation is that an aircraft of the likes of a helicopter will eventually provide researchers a brand new vantage point from which Mars can be observed. It will be humankind’s first attempt to fly an aircraft heavier than air (helicopter or airplane) in the Red Planet’s atmosphere. After landing with the rover in February 2021, the mission will comprise successfully after completing five test flights.
According to Thomas Zurbuchen, who is the associate administrator for NASA’s science mission directorate in Washington,