For quite some time now NASA engineers have been working on a machine capable of working in the Mars atmosphere, which is going to be attached to the next rover to be sent on Mars. This is schedule to happen in 2020.
With a weight of almost 2 kg, the helicopter with two propellers that spin in opposite directions has been successfully tested in a room that simulates the Mars atmosphere.
With two tests done in two different days, in an atmosphere similar to that of Mars, the helicopter proved that it can support its own weight in controlled flying. Besides the Mars atmosphere, scientists have also simulated the reduced gravity of Mars, representing just 63% of that of Earth.
Powered by batteries and electric engines, the helicopter might be programmed to return to the take off point after each trip, thus making it possible to be used repeatedly. The technology borrowed from domestic drones makes it possible for NASA to successfully complete this experiment.