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A little less than 120 years after the first aircraft took to the sky above windswept fields near Kitty Hawk, a small helicopter is preparing to buzz around the surface of Mars.

In what's being billed as a Wright Brothers moment, NASA's Ingenuity helicopter will go down in history if it succeeds.

"We've never had an aircraft that can power itself off another planet," said Tim Canham, who leads NASA's helicopter operations team.

The small table-sized helicopter arrived on Mars in February tucked up safely underneath the Perseverance rover, which charged the chopper's batteries and kept it warm.

Ingenuity has now reached its helipad and cameras onboard Perseverance have captured it slowly unfurling and hanging under the rover.

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