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The views from a helicopter flying across Mars will also provide Nasa with a stellar public relations tool as it seeks global support for sending humans to the planet in the 2030s or later.

A team of expert designers spent more than four years shrinking a working helicopter to just 1.8kg (4lbs) or roughly the size of a softball.

Soviet scientists dropped two balloons into the atmosphere of Venus in the 1980s. He further added, "We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit".

If it is successful, it might pave the way for similar craft to act as low-flying scouts to help access parts of Mars not reachable by ground travel.

The layout for the Mars Helicopter has actually remained in the benefit the last 4 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, yet the room company had yet to determine if it was really mosting likely to send out the lorry to Mars.

The remote-controlled Mars Helicopter, created to take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere with twin counter-rotating blades, weighs about four pounds (1.8 kilograms), with a fuselage the size of a softball, NASA said. Once on Mars, the rover will deploy it on a suitable surface and drive away where it will have to unpack itself and attempt a flight.

"A remote-controlled helicopter to Mars Helicopter, created to fly in the rarefied atmosphere of the red planet, weighs 1.8 kg and the size of a small ball".

The Mar's helicopter carries twin blades, which whirls about ten times the blades of the aircraft on the Earth's surface.

Jim Bridenstine is an administrator at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. Equipped with solar cells to power it over a 30-day test campaign, its blades would spin three times quicker than a normal helicopter, or around 3,000 revolutions a minute so as to handle the planet's atmosphere, which is 100 times thinner than Earth's.

"To make it fly at that [altitude], we had to scrutinize everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be", she said.

After its batteries are charged and a myriad of tests are performed, controllers on Earth will command the Mars Helicopter to take its first autonomous flight into history.

On its first flight, the helicopter will make a short vertical climb to 10 feet, where it will hover for about 30 seconds.

A successful test could open the door to using helicopters as scouts on future missions, surveying terrain that might be hard for rovers to navigate and even accessing locations that are unreachable via ground travel. The Mars Helicopter and the Mars 2020 rover will be carried into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V, scheduled to take off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.


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