NASA eyes using small helicopters to help Mars rovers

January 26, 2015 3:00 PM

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NASA eyes using small helicopters to help Mars rovers

Mars might very soon have its own version of a drone to patrol its skies. NASA is considering creating a Mars Helicopter, an addon to future rovers that will become the advance party of these roaming laboratories. These vehicles will become the eyes of scientists on earth that will help them better determine where to direct rovers to, making each trip more efficient and focusing primarily on more "exciting" parts of Martian landscape, increasing the distance traveled up to three times.

For all the wealth of information Martian rovers have gathered for NASA, its journeys are not exactly the most efficient use of its time. The rover's "eyes" are limited to the feed from its on-board cameras. Satellites orbiting the planet give a very distant overhead view, but those just aren't enou...

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