NASA aims to fly a helicopter on Mars

12 May, 2018, 21:32 | Author: Tracy Craig
  • Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

Scientists want to test how "heavier-than-air vehicles" will operate on the red planet, Nasa said in a release.

NASA said on Friday it will ship a small helicopter into Mars as part of the shuttle agency's 2020 mission to set a next generation rover around the Martian surface, marking the first time that aircraft is going to be utilized on another environment. The chopper is also light, weighing a little under four pounds (1.8 kilograms).

"Its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter-rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at nearly 3,000 rpm - about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth", NASA said in a news release.

The helicopter consists of solarcells to charge its lithium-ion batteries and also a heating mechanism to keep it warm throughout frigid evenings.

After placing the helicopter on the ground, the rover will be directed to drive to a safe distance to relay commands.

Soon after being deployed on the Red Planet by the Mars 2020 rover, the small aircraft will make history with its first autonomous flight: a vertical climb to 10 feet (3 meters), where it will hover for about 30 seconds. "NASA has a proud history of firsts", said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine in a statement.

The Martian helicopter will travel with the mission of the Rover of Mars 2020, announced the space agency. (1.8-kg) Mars Helicopter will be a second major technology demonstration conducted during the Mars 2020 mission, which is scheduled for launch in July 2020 and a February 2021 landing.

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Mars 2020 is scheduled now to launch sometime in July 2020 with a landing slated for February 2021. No nation has ever flown an helicopter on Mars before.

We have rovers on Mars' surface, and orbiters like the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter floating around the planet, but we don't have anything flying around the surface of Mars right now. Its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter-rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at nearly 3,000 rpm - about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth.

It is specifically created to fly in the atmosphere of Red Planet which is 100 times thinner than Earth's.

Due to the atmospheric difference between Earth and Mars, the helicopter will be the equivalent of 100,000 feet in the air at home when it is on the ground on Mars. If it fails, it will not impact the Mars 2020 mission.

"The ability to see clearly what lies beyond the next hill is crucial for future explorers", said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA associate administrator for science, in the statement.

According to Bridenstine, the success of the "marscopter" may enable more ambitious missions in the future.

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