ANU cosmologist and astrophysicist Dr Brad Tucker said it has been a “very big week for Mars” with the successful flights of helicopter Ingenuity and the conversion of carbon dioxide to oxygen by the rover Perseverance.
“We have this great result from Perseverance and along with Perseverance was Ingenuity, this helicopter drone,” he told Sky News.
“This was an amazing feat of technology, it only went up three metres, it only did a little bit of a hop but the atmosphere is so different on Mars they didn’t know if it was going to be able to work, they had to power a craft to do this.”
Dr Tucker said as soon as the technology was checked and was successful NASA performed another test and flew Ingenuity five metres into the air.
“What we’re going to be seeing now over the next month or so as long as the batteries last, they’re going to start flying this drone as high and as far as possible.”