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On a test flight in Death Valley, California, an Airbus helicopter carried an engineering model of the Lander Vision System (LVS) that will help guide NASA's next Mars mission to a safe touchdown on the Red Planet. During the flight - one in a series—the helicopter (which is not part of the mission and was used just for testing) and its two-person crew flew a pre-planned sequence of maneuvers while LVS collected and analyzed imagery of the barren, mountainous terrain below.
LVS is an integral part of a guidance system called Terrain-Relative Navigation (TRN) that will steer NASA's Mars 2020 rover away from hazardous areas during its final descent to Jezero...
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