Green light for octocopters on Mars

A model of an eight-rotor octocopter designed for future use on Mars.

A model of an eight-rotor octocopter designed for future use on Mars. Photo: European Space Agency

Pretend  it is the year 2050, a decade or so after Mars One and its consortium of international partners have established the first settler colony on the Red Planet.

The Marsoneers, as the intrepid Mars pioneers are called, are exploring major craters, using an array of sophisticated machines.

One of these, an octocopter, with eight extra-large rotors whirring furiously, carries aloft a baby bulldozer-rover towards the otherwise inaccessible ledge of an ancient crater wall.

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