China working on Ingenuity-like Mars helicopter

A press release from China’s National Space Science Center provided a first look at a prototype for their new Martian Helicopter.

Their “Mars patrol drone” bears a striking similarity to NASA’s helicopter Ingenuity that launched on Mars 2020 mission and has since completed 13 successful flights on Mars. Not many details were revealed by the science and technology department about the drone, and only one photo has been released.

This is also not the first space-related product to come out of China that seems to resemble products from the US. Earlier this year they released a rendering of a rocket that looks very similar to SpaceX’s Starship vehicle. While it is easy to say and is quite possible, that they took design inspiration from US vehicles, in the end, the designs are governed by physics.

In the same way that rockets have a similar overall shape in order to deal with aerodynamic forces, Mars creates additional design limitations based on the…