Next up on Mars? One idea is this Mars aerial craft – the Hexacopter.
Credit: Theodore Tzanetos/NASA/JPL-Caltech

Given the highly successful and ongoing flights of the Ingenuity helicopter on the Red Planet at Jezero Crater, engineers are turning their attention to future aerial craft for Mars.

Cave diving on Mars via a Hexacopter.
Credit: Theodore Tzanetos/NASA/JPL-Caltech

One concept is the Hexacopter, advocated as a way to greatly expand the exploration zone on Mars – including possible deep dives into Martian caves. Technologists have already gleaned loads of technical information from Ingenuity, steadily pushing its capabilities. Now they want to use that data to push for development of a new aerial system for Mars investigation.

Go to my new Space.com story, “NASA is mapping out plans for bigger, more capable Mars helicopters – The Mars Science Helicopter could do a variety of work on the Red Planet,” at:

https://www.space.com/nasa-designing-future-mars-helicopters

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