NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter successfully deployed onto the surface of Mars Saturday, its travel buddy the Perseverance rover capturing it posing triumphantly on the first Martian flight field.
The Mars helicopter, a four-pound drone with a nearly four-foot blade span, will attempt to make humanity’s first-ever flight on an alien planet in April, no earlier than the 11th. If the first flight is successful, it could attempt up to four more over a 30-sol (Mars day) period.
The deployment of Ingenuity from Perseverance took roughly 10 sols. It’s a long, delicate process designed to cause as little disturbance as possible