- Chris Baker
MARS DRONE flight Watch it Live here!
The Perseverance rover is equipped with a miniature helicopter named Ingenuity, which weighs just 4lb (1.8kg) and will be the first rotorcraft to fly on another planet.
The little chopper underwent a series of drills simulating the mission in a testing facility in California, including a high-vibration environment to mimic how it will hold up under the launch and landing conditions, and extreme temperature swings such as those experienced on Mars.
The autonomous test helicopter has an on-board camera and is powered by a solar panel, but does not contain any scientific instruments.
NASA aims to develop the drone as a prototype to see if it could be worth attaching scientific sensors to similar devices in future.
Ingenuity has been deployed by the host Perseverance and is undergoing tests
Over the last week the chopper has been lowered onto the Martian surface and a series of tests have been run to assess it's state. This has included running the rotors up to a test speed.
I had hoped to bring you the link to watch the planned flight for this afternoon Sunday April 11th.
However - the last test was not completed due to a malfunction and THE FLIGHT HAS BEEN DELAYED UNTIL AT LEAST WEDNESDAY 14TH APRIL.
But do not worry - I will send you the link, the timings and all you need to know to watch the flight live - once we know the rescheduled event time.
This will be an historic flight of a man-made craft on another planet and not one to be missed.
You'll be able to say - 'yes' I was there!
Watch your inbox for the notification.