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How an old smartphone processor will power the first-ever flight on Mars

If you’ve got a new Android phone, its processor could be more advanced than the one that will control the first-ever flight on Mars. NASA‘s Ingenuity helicopter, which is slated to make its maiden voyage on the red planet on April 14, is powered by Snapdragon’s 801 processor — the same chip used by a slew of phones released in 2014 and 2015. The system runs an integrated board called the Qualcomm Flight Platform, which will operate the autonomous flight. Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.Ingenuity has already touched the red planet’s surface and unlocked its rotor blades. While operators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) will plan the chopper’s…

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