Garcia to host discussion for students, teachers on NASA’s Helicopter Ingenuity

An artist's concept depicting NASA's Mars 2020 rover on the surface of Mars. Photo courtesy of NASA/JPL-Caltech.
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Rep. Mike Garcia, R-Santa Clarita, is set to host a virtual discussion Friday on NASA’s Mars 2020 Helicopter Ingenuity, for students and teachers in California’s 25th Congressional District. 

The helicopter was part of the Perseverance rover, which successfully landed on Mars on Feb. 18, marking the nation’s sixth rover landing on the “Red Planet.” 

Ingenuity, which hitched a ride to Mars via the belly of the rover, is a technology demonstration to test the first powered flight on Mars, according to NASA. 

“Once the team finds a suitable ‘helipad’ location, the rover will release Ingenuity to perform a series of test flights over a 30-Martian-day experimental window beginning sometime in the spring,” read NASA’s website on the helicopter. 

The virtual discussion will include a presentation on the helicopter, as well as a Q&A session with Bob Balaram, the chief engineer of Ingenuity. 

“The landing of NASA’s Mars rover Perseverance was a historic event. The helicopter is going to fly in an atmosphere that is like flying at about 70,000 feet in our atmosphere, an impressive feat,” said Garcia in a prepared statement. “This will be a great opportunity for students to learn about the importance of space exploration and the process of making the Ingenuity Helicopter.”

The event is scheduled from noon to 1 p.m. on Friday, March 5, via a webinar. Interested 25th District students and teachers must RSVP to Chelsea Orzechowski at [email protected]

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