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Trailhead: Eric Berger. "‘After a dozen flights, NASA’s chopper has yet to come a cropper". Ars Technica (2021-08-17).

The Mars helicopter Ingenuity is still going and going and going. Twelve flights in four months doesn't sound like much—but it's an amazing solar-powered toaster with rotary wings in a low-density atmosphere with no one around to set it upright or mend its body if something goes wrong. There are flying things of all shapes and sizes and methods here on much, so perhaps it doesn't seem as magical as it is. Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner (an amazing solar-powered toaster with rotary wheels) were also not that much compared to the robot vans on Mars today, but they tested out some methods and technologies that led to bigger and better missions.

One day it will be commonplace for aircraft of various kinds on Mars, providing the kinds of footage that can't be supplied from the ground or from orbit. Balloons, planes, helicopters. The interesting regions of Mars—the ones that will be in the final running for landing sites for human missions—will be known in fine detail before anyone gets there. It won't be a matter of if these robots will be able to fly, but how many and where and what kinds of robots will be flying there.

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