NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity is less than a week away from attempting its first flight on the Red Planet and the space agency wants to share the epic feat with students in a webcast today (April 8).
Engineers with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will host an Ingenuity talk Thursday for kids at 1 p.m. EDT (1700 GMT). The livestream will be available on the NASA JPL Education YouTube channel here at start time.
Join our forums here to discuss the Perseverance rover on Mars. What do you hope finds?
Students looking for more ways to learn about NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter can tackle a few DIY projects offered by JPL.
How to Make a Paper Helicopter: This project will allow students to build their own lightweight helicopter using paper, scissors, a pencil, measuring tape and a ribbon. You can watch a NASA video guide here, with Spanish subtitles if needed, on how to build the helicopter.
Code a Mars Helicopter Game: This NASA guide allows students to create their own video game to explore Mars with a helicopter like Ingenuity. Students will learn how to code using the Scratch, a visual programming language. You can watch a NASA YouTube video guide on the game here, with Spanish subtitles if needed.
The Ingenuity helicopter arrived on Mars last month as part of NASA's Perseverance rover, which landed on Feb. 18 in an ancient delta of the Jezero Crater. The helicopter is a tiny, four-bladed drone that weighs just 4 lbs. (1.8 kilograms). Its mission is to test flight and scouting technologies that could help future astronauts on Mars.
Perseverance dropped the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars on Saturday (April 3). The solar-powered helicopter successfully survived its first night alone on Mars and will test its rotors soon for its upcoming flight. Its camera has already begun taking color photos of Mars.
NASA engineers expect Ingenuity to fly a series of increasingly longer flights that reach no higher than 16.5 feet (5 m) above the Martian surface. The Perseverance rover will stay a safe distance away and snap photos of Ingenuity's test flights as the helicopter takes its own pictures from above.
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