The prototype of an unmanned aerial vehicle for Mars, made of composite materials, is similar to a boomerang. A vehicle two feet long (about 61 cm) on Earth weighs 2.6 pounds (about 1.2 kg), but on Mars under the influence of gravity, its mass will decrease to 1 pound (450 grams).
The new flying machine Prandtl-m will go to Mars not earlier than 2022. But before that, NASA plans to test in three stages in the Earth’s atmosphere. The first stage is planned for this summer, the second – for 2016. If these two tests are successful, a CubeSat satellite will be launched in the near-earth orbit within the final test together with it to a height of more than 137 km.
Of course, before the appearance of the first people on Mars, a lot of time must pass. But the launch of the drones test for the red planet is an important step in the study of Mars.