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According to the source, the Mars Helicopter will be bundled with the United States space agency's Mars rover when it launches in 2020. It will mark mankind's first attempt to fly an aircraft in an alien atmosphere. Controllers on Earth will command the helicopter to take its first autonomous flight after its batteries are charged and tests are conducted, NASA said. Court blocks delay to vehicle efficiency fines MORE said in a statement.

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory has been developing the helicopter since 2013, and eventually shrunk the fuselage to around the size of a softball to help make the drone viable.

The Mar's helicopter carries twin blades, which whirls about ten times the blades of the aircraft on the Earth's surface.

Its blades will spin at nearly 3,000 rpm, roughly 10 times the rate employed by helicopters on Earth. After the rover lands on Mars in 2021, NASA will use the spacecraft's cameras to scan the ground of the planet, find a suitable flat place to set the tiny helicopter down. However, since Mars's atmosphere is just 1 percent of Earth's, a helicopter that's just sitting on the surface of the Red Planet is already at the equivalent of 100,000 feet on Earth.

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They hope that it will prove the technology for future flight explorations of Mars and provide more data on the atmosphere.

For its trip to Mars, the helicopter will be packed on the underside of the rover.

"NASA has a proud history of firsts", said Jim Bridenstine, the agency's new administrator. The copter won't be controllable in real time from Earth, due to the light-speed travel time involved.

"I am not an advocate for the helicopter and I don't believe the Mars 2020 project has been an advocate for the helicopter", he added.

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It isn't even certain that vehicles can levitate on Mars, but the NASA helicopter seeks to "demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet", according to a Friday statement. If it does not work, the Mars 2020 mission will not be impacted.

"The ability to see clearly what lies beyond the next hill is crucial for future explorers", said Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington.

These images released by NASA show the surface of Mars. "With the added dimension of a bird's-eye view from a 'marscopter, ' we can only imagine what future missions will achieve".

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