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

If you’ve got a new Android phone, its processor is probably 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.

Ingenuity has already touched down on Mars.
Credit: Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech.