The scientists working on NASA’s Mars helicopter project are done building the actual 4-pound vehicle that’s blasting off to the red planet with the Mars 2020 rover. But they can’t just strap the helicopter to its bigger companion’s belly and call it a day — they first have to prove that it can actually fly in Martian conditions. That’s why in late January, the team replicated our neighboring planet’s much thinner atmosphere in JPL’s Space Simulator in order to make sure the helicopter will be able to take off. Spoiler alert: they were able to successfully conduct two test flights in Martian conditions on separate days.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, or even use Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for MakeCode, CircuitPython, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.