Ingenuity Helicopter which has been Flying around Mars
By now most people know about the Ingenuity helicopter which has been flying around Mars for over two years now. What people are less familiar with is NASA’s plan and current development of two new more advanced helicopters preparing for a different mission to Mars in the coming years. While Ingenuity was primarily a technology demonstration and has been fortunate enough to help scout for the Perseverance Rover, these new helicopters will have a dedicated mission.
Equipped with wheels, robotic arms, and a few other upgrades, the two helicopters will be tasked with flying around the red planet and picking up sample tubes placed by Perseverance. Specifically, they are part of the Mars Sample Return mission where NASA along with the ESA plan to get Mars samples back to Earth. In this case, if Perseverance was unable to transport the samples to the lander for whatever reason, the helicopters would deploy and gather any available samples.
This is a significantly more advanced process than the current Ingenuity helicopter operations and would be an impressive feat. While plans could still change before this mission occurs, these new mission-specific helicopters are still making progress. Here I will go more in-depth into the upgraded Mars helicopters, the help from Ingenuity, what to expect in the next few years, and more.
Credit to : TheSpaceBucket