Norwegian to pilot the first flying vessel on Mars

This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the red planet's surface near the Perseverance rover, left. NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover headed to Mars. Set to rocket away this week from Florida, Perseverance is NASA's brawniest and brainiest Martian rover yet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

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From Earth, Håvard Fjær Grip from Trøndelag will pilot the mini-helicopter ‘Ingenuity’, which according to the plan will be the first flying vessel on Mars.

– “It is extremely exciting. It is the dream job for someone with my background to be allowed to fly a helicopter on another planet,” says Håvard Fjær Grip to NRK.

The mini helicopter and a new land-based vehicle are on board the rocket that Nasa launches on Thursday if conditions allow. In about seven months, it will reach Mars.

– “Butterflies are in my stomach now. I almost dare not think about what it will be like when we actually try to fly the helicopter on Mars,” he says.

Grip and his crew will control the helicopter using artificial intelligence and commands due to the long distance to Mars.

Trønderen works at the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. He has a master’s degree in engineering and a doctorate in cybernetics from NTNU.

© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today

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