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Mars helicopter Ingenuity could usher in new era of exploration

Mars helicopter Ingenuity could usher in new era of exploration

Science
ORLANDO, Fla., March 22 (UPI) -- NASA's plan to fly a helicopter on Mars for the first time in a few weeks could start a new era of interplanetary exploration like the space agency's little Sojourner rover did in the 1990s, according to several experts. The Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, will be dropped from the Perseverance rover soon, but NASA hasn't determined the exact date. The rover ejected a shield that covered the helicopter over the weekend. Advertisement Ingenuity is purely a demonstration like Sojourner was, but it will provide images of the surface around the Perseverance rover. Depending on its success, NASA may be able to use helicopters to explore Mars faster, said Robert Zubrin, founder and president of the non-profit Mars Society, which advocates for Martian exploration. "R...