Plastics are about to take center stage on Mars where the helicopter Ingenuity is set to take flight on Sunday.
Carbon fiber and other material from Toray Advanced Composites make up the Ingenuity's rotor blades and chassis structure. Ultralight weight is needed if helicopter is going to be able to fly in the planet's thin atmosphere.
The helicopter landed on Mars with the Perseverance rover and dropped onto the surface from its storage spot on the underside of the rover earlier this week.
NASA and JPL engineers have set the initial flight for "no later than April 11" and will have a livestream discussion of the flight at 3:30 a.m. Eastern time, open to the public, on April 12. (Click through to this website for more information and links to the discussions.)
"If the helicopter flies ... April 11, as expected, the livestream will show the helicopter team analyzing the first test flight data," NASA said.
In addition, the public may ask questions about the project by using the hashtag #MarsHelicopter on social media.