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NASA Conducts Recharge, Analysis of Mars Helicopter

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NASA has recharged a small spacecraft designed to explore the red planet along with the Perseverance rover.

The agency said Thursday it examined the Ingenuity Mars helicopter's six lithium-ion batteries and used Perseverance's power supply to charge the rotorcraft up to 35 percent. NASA has discovered that a low-charge level would enable Ingenuity's battery system to operate at an optimal state.

"This charge activity shows we have survived launch and that so far we can handle the harsh environment of interplanetary space," said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at NASA.

The four-pound rotorcraft will perform a 31-day flight test in an effort to validate the possibility of controlled fights within the red planet.