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It was a journey that began two years ago for 25 students at Kingsbridge International High School in the Bronx.

Students had the opportunity to stencil their names onto a chip that was added to NASA’s Perseverance rover last month. 

From international to universal, the journey from Earth took seven months and lots of “perseverance” for this rover to make it to the Red Planet. 

Alejandro Mundo arranged for these students to become a part of this historic mission. In addition to being their science teacher, he also works for NASA.

He said that it was important for students who make up a minority group that is underserved and underrepresented in STEM to have access to endless possibilities. 

Additionally, Mundo’s astronomy class went on a trip to the NYC Center for Aerospace and Applied Mathematics. Students had the opportunity to join the Astronaut Academy and conduct a Mars Mission where they learned about what is it like to live onboard the International Space Station, train as astronauts and simulate a space mission to Mars. 

Now, as NASA gears up for yet another groundbreaking mission with Ingenuity this weekend, Mundo says it’s a bonus to the out of this world experience. The small helicopter arrived on Mars attached to the belly of the Perseverance rover. It will be the first test flight on the Red Planet.

Ingenuity will climb to 10 feet, hovering for about 30 seconds, and then descending. This flight will be the first in a series of test flights that will last up to 31 Earth days (30 Martian days — or sols). 
These tests will set the stage for future missions to include advanced robotic flying vehicles, collect high-resolution images from the air and survey sites.