With only one percent the atmospheric density of Earth and a third of the gravity, navigating the skies of Mars will pose a massive challenge.

Next year, NASA will need to tackle both problems as it attempts to take a giant leap from scanning the Red Planet’s geographical features using surface-bound rovers to launching a small helicopter, dubbed Ingenuity, to get an unprecedented aerial view of the planet’s surface.

On July 20, the softball-sized helicopter, outfitted with two sets of four-foot blades, will be embarking on its lengthy journey with the agency’s fifth Martian rover, Perseverance.

And when it gets there, to call flying a drone on Mars a challenge would be a vast understatement.

“This is very analogous to the Wright brothers moment, but on another planet,” MiMi Aung, the project manager of the Mars helicopter at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, told The New York Times.

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