NASA says its Mars helicopter is ready for a historic first flight

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is seen here in a close-up taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras aboard the Perseverance rover.

Enlarge / NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is seen here in a close-up taken by Mastcam-Z, a pair of zoomable cameras aboard the Perseverance rover. (credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA has resolved the issues with its Ingenuity helicopter on the surface of Mars and is ready to fly.

The space agency announced on Saturday that it will attempt to fly the small, 1.8kg helicopter early on Monday. The first flight is scheduled to take place at about 3:30am ET (07:30 UTC). It will take a few hours to relay data from the helicopter to the Perseverance rover, and then to an orbiting satellite and back to Earth. So NASA anticipates receiving the first data back from Mars some time after 6:15am ET.

The space agency will begin a livestream at that time, sharing any photos and reactions from scientists and engineers as humans attempt to fly a powered vehicle on another world for the first time.

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