When next rover to Mars is launched by NASA, it will have a small helicopter along for the ride named the Mars Helicopter. The helicopter will attempt to fly through the Martian air to see if vehicles can even levitate on Mars, where the atmosphere is 100 times thinner than that of Earth. From the last four years the design for the Mars Helicopter is going on at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. But even if the helicopter fails to fly, it won’t affect the overall mission of the Mars 2020 rover, it’ll be able to capture a rare birds-eye-view of Mars with its two cameras, something that’s never been done before. Engineers at JPL have been working to get the weight and shape of the helicopter just right, so that it can fly through the thin Mars air. 40,000 feet high is the maximum highest any helicopter has flown on Earth. But the Mars Helicopter will be flying in an atmosphere that’s as thin as altitudes of 100,000 feet on Earth. For that the robot has to be tiny and light and it should weigh just four pounds (1.8 kilograms) on Earth and is about the size of a softball. The twin blades of the copter also sports that rotate 10 times faster than helicopter’s. Once they land on the planet’s surface, it will then find a good place to set down the copter, deploy it, and then roll away. It will take several minutes to send the helicopter commands, since the earth is far away from Mars. Finally, the vehicle has to do five autonomous flights over a 30-day period; the trips could last up to 90 seconds. The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for discovery, future science, and exploration missions to Mars. On top of an Atlas V rocket the Mars 2020 rover is slated to launch, made by the United Launch Alliance, from Cape Canaveral, Florida in July 2020. The spacecraft will then land on Mars in February of 2021.