NASA is expected to make history today by launching the first helicopter flight above Mars.

The tiny 1.8kg helicopter, called Ingenuity, was carried to the red planet by the space agency's Perseverance rover.

The space agency previously called the flight a “Wright brothers moment” and even attached a stamp-sized piece of the aviation pioneers’ 1903 plane wing to Ingenuity.

Ingenuity is scheduled to fly three metres above a Martian basin called Jezero Crater and hover there for 30 seconds, before rotating and coming back down.

But there are fears about the pre-programmed flight potentially failing due to the challenging conditions of Mars.

The helicopter is scheduled to fly three metres above the surface of Mars
The helicopter is scheduled to fly three metres above the surface of Mars

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Ingenuity is due to use its cameras to record pictures and video of the planet's surface.

Perseverance will then feed data on the flight back to Earth, however there will be a three-hour time lag between the planets, which are 173 million miles apart.

In the coming weeks, Ingenuity is expected to carry out further, longer flights, although it requires four to five days to recharge its batteries, The Guardian reports.

The helicopter was carried aboard NASA's Perseverance rover
The helicopter was carried aboard NASA's Perseverance rover

The 49cm-tall copter arrived on Mars inside the Perseverance rover on February 18.

The first flight had been scheduled for earlier this month but was delayed after a technical issue during a test of the rotors.

NASA explained: “During a high-speed spin test of the rotors... the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a ‘watchdog timer expiration'.

The space agency previously described the helicopter flight as a 'Wright brothers moment'
The space agency previously described the helicopter flight as a 'Wright brothers moment'

"This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode.

“The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth. The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues.

“It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned.”