Can we fly on Mars? The laws of physics may say it's near impossible, but actually flying a heavier-than-air vehicle on the Red Planet is much harder than that. NASA’s Mars 2020 mission will deliver a technology demonstration that will put the idea to the test -- a helicopter that will perform controlled flight on Mars.

Transcript:

NASA CHOPPER READY FOR A SPIN ON MARS

THE MARS HELICOPTER IS A TECHNOLOGY DEMONSTRATION

THAT WILL LAUNCH WITH THE MARS 2020 MISSION.

[Mimi Aung] Can we fly at Mars? That has been a question for a long time.

[music]

IN THEORY, IF A HELICOPTER IS LIGHT ENOUGH AND THE BLADES SPIN FAST

ENOUGH, IT SHOULD FLY.

IN THE THIN MARTIAN ATMOSPHERE, WILL THIS BE POSSIBLE?

AFTER BUILDING MANY PROTOTYPES, ENGINEERS HAVE BUILT A VEHICLE THEY BELIEVE

WILL FLY ON THE RED PLANET.

THIS IS THE ACTUAL HELICOPTER THAT WILL GO TO MARS.

MARS-LIKE CONDITIONS ARE CREATED FOR FLIGHT TESTING.

INSIDE A SPACE SIMULATOR, THE CONDITIONS ARE

1% OF EARTH'S

ATMOSPHERIC DENSITY,

AND 40% OF EARTH'S GRAVITY.

[buzzing]

IN JANUARY 2019, THE HELICOPTER SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED ITS FINAL FLIGHT TEST.

[Mimi Aung] This is a huge milestone for us. But really our job

isn't done until we see the same test flight being performed at Mars.

[ music]

THE NEXT TIME THE HELICOPTER

WILL ATTEMPT TO FLY WILL BE ON MARS.

IF SUCCESSFUL, A HELICOPTER COULD BE USED FOR

FUTURE MISSIONS.

[EXPLORE

SPACE TECH]

[NASA]

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