NASA's 'Mars Helicopter' Ingenuity will reach the Red Planet next month

Something to look forward to: NASA's latest explorer rover is set to make contact with Mars' surface next month, on February 18.

The Perseverance rover is carrying the first-ever "Mars Helicopter," aptly known as Ingenuity.

Ingenuity is a small, lightweight helicopter with two rotors, each made from durable carbon fiber.

The rotors will spin in opposing directions, at speeds of "around 2,400 rpm," which is "many times" faster than what you'd see on any passenger helicopter on Earth.

If the mission is a success, it could revolutionize the way scientists approach Mars exploration.

So far, they've had to rely on slow-rolling, ground-based rovers to navigate, but if Ingenuity proves capable of withstanding the harsh environment of Mars, the technology might become much more common.

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