NASA unveils new Mars helicopter

National News

PASADENA, Calif. (CBS) — NASA is gearing up for a historic flight on Mars. The space agency is sending a small experimental helicopter to the red planet next year.

There were some difficulties in getting the nearly four-pound aircraft to fly in conditions close to Mars’ atmosphere. Mars’ atmosphere is made up of mostly carbon dioxide, and the air there is nearly 100 times thinner than Earth’s.

NASA use remotes to fly the aircraft from earth. If it works, NASA says future vehicles could help explore difficult to reach areas, help carry equipment and act as scouts for human explorers on other worlds, ushering in a new wave of exploration.

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