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NASA's Mars helicopter to attempt first flight Monday

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-04-19 09:47
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Image taken by cameras aboard NASA's Perseverance rover on Mars, April 5, 2021 shows Mars helicopter Ingenuity. XINHUA

WASHINGTON -- NASA is targeting early Monday for the first flight of its Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, according to NASA.

The helicopter is scheduled to lift off at approximately 3:30 a.m. Eastern Day Time on Monday.

It will be the first powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

The first flight was originally scheduled on April 11, but the date shifted as engineers worked on preflight checks and a solution to a command sequence issue.

Ingenuity arrived at Mars' Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, attached to the belly of NASA's Perseverance rover. The helicopter is a technology demonstration with a planned test flight duration of up to 30 Martian days.

The Perseverance rover will provide support during flight operations, taking images, collecting environmental data, and hosting the base station that enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth.

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