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NASA's Ingenuity helicopter flying on Mars. Photo: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA's Perseverance rover captured the humming sounds of the tiny Ingenuity helicopter flying above the Martian surface.

Why it matters: By recording sound on Mars, scientists will be able to learn more about how the Martian atmosphere works and potentially diagnose problems with Perseverance, should they pop up.

Driving the news: NASA released a video Friday showing Ingenuity's fourth flight on April 30 when the helicopter flew a 872-foot round-trip test.

  • Perseverance recorded the flight, capturing the Martian wind and hum of the helicopter's blades spinning at 2,537 rpm. (If you're watching the full video, it helps to use headphones.)
  • "We had carried out tests and simulations that told us the microphone would barely pick up the sounds of the helicopter, as the Mars atmosphere damps the sound propagation strongly," David Mimoun, the science lead for Perseverance's SuperCam Mars microphone, said in a statement. "We have been lucky to register the helicopter at such a distance."

The big picture: Ingenuity is the first human-made drone to ever fly on another planet, and NASA hopes the tests it's running with the 4-pound helicopter will pave the way for future missions using other drones on Mars and elsewhere.

What's next: NASA will continue to test Ingenuity on Mars, allowing it to go on farther flights and one-way trips, potentially to help scout out areas of interest for Perseverance.

Go deeper

Teachers across the U.S. protest laws restricting racism lessons

Thousands of teachers and other educators held protests across the U.S. Saturday against the actions of "at least 15 Republican-led states" that aim to restrict teaching about racism in class, the Washington Post reports.

Driving the news: There were demonstrations in at least 22 cities for the "Day of Action" to raise awareness about moves to limit students' exposure to critical race theory, which links racial discrimination to the nation's foundations and legal system, per Axios' Russell Contreras.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

Lawsuit challenging Houston Methodist's COVID vaccine mandate dismissed

Houston Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas. Photo: Brandon Bell/Getty Images

A federal judge on Saturday dismissed a lawsuit brought by 117 Houston Methodist staff over the hospital's policy requiring all employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Why it matters: This is the first federal court ruling on a coronavirus vaccine mandate. Attorney Jared Woodfill, representing the plaintiffs, told KHOU 11 it's "the first battle in a long fight," as he vowed to file another lawsuit soon.

G7 leaders to announce plan to phase out gasoline cars

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson talks next to President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron at the G7 summit in Carbis Bay, Cornwall, England, on Saturday. Photo: Leon Neal/Getty Images

G7 leaders are set to announce Sunday a range of measures to tackle climate change, including "ending almost all direct government support" for fossil fuels and phasing out gasoline and diesel cars.

Driving the news: The plan was outlined in a British government announcement Saturday, which states that the leaders will also agree to halting "all unabated coal as soon as possible."

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