NASA’s Mars helicopter is set to take history-making flight Monday

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This March 21, 2021 photo made available by NASA shows the released debris shield, center, for the Ingenuity helicopter, dropped on the surface of Mars from the bottom of the Perseverance rover. (NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS via AP)

(NEXSTAR) – After six years of development, the first aircraft to take flight on another planet will set sail from Mars early Monday morning.

NASA’s helicopter, called Ingenuity, will take off at 3:15 a.m. PST.

You can watch the epic flight from NASA Television, the NASA app and the agency’s website. NASA will also livestream on multiple agency social media platforms, including the JPL YouTube and Facebook channels.

Ingenuity arrived at Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18. It was attached to the underside of NASA’s Perseverance rover.

The Mars rover will provide extra support during the flight operation and will take images while collecting environmental data. The rover also hosts the base station that “enables the helicopter to communicate with mission controllers on Earth,” NASA said.

The helicopter was initially set to take off on April 11, but the flight was delayed due to a timing glitch in the helicopter’s systems.

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