NASA is preparing for the first ever launch of a rotorcraft in the atmosphere of another planet.
The goal of the project is to demonstrate the possibility of using such aircraft during future missions to explore hard-to-reach places on other space objects.
The helicopter reached Mars in February 2021.After landing, NASA engineers began analyzing orbital images of the planet's surface and choosing a flight zone, as well as a location for the landing site.
The location must be safe for the helicopter to take off and then land.
Haward Grip, Mars Helicopter Mission Team pilot
The surface must be flat and free from largestones. On the other hand, it should contain objects and distinctive features, with the help of which the helicopter's navigation camera can navigate during the flight.
As a result, the ideal location is close to the landing site of the Perseverance rover.
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