NASA Sending Helicopter to Mars, Aiming for an Aviation First

Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

Testing whether "heavier than air vehicles" will work on Mars, NASA is looking to add to its long list of groundbreaking achievements.

CAPE CANAVERAL-In one of his first decisions since joining NASA, newly named administrator Jim Bridenstine has opted to add a small autonomous helicopter to the Mars 2020 mission, a somewhat controversial choice that lacked support from project scientists.

Nasa is sending a helicopter to Mars, in the first test of a heavier-than-air aircraft on another planet, BBC reported. But before the helicopter can fly at Mars it has to get there. The mission of the helicopter is to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars. It is being done at the NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California.

"A remote-controlled helicopter to Mars Helicopter, created to fly in the rarefied atmosphere of the red planet, weighs 1.8 kg and the size of a small ball".

But don't let its cute stature fool you; this little fellow packs a lot of power and its twin blades are able to rotate 10 times faster than what we normally see here on Earth, reaching nearly 3,000 revolutions per minute.

The helicopter contains solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries and a heating mechanism to keep it warm during frigid nights.

Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL, says that the altitude record for helicopter flight on Earth is around 40,000 feet.

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"The real challenge is that the Martian atmosphere is very thin-about 1 percent of Earth's atmosphere-which means that it's not going to look like your typical drone in your backyard", Farley said.

The helicopter will be brought to Mars attached to the belly pan of the Mars 2020 rover.

Once the rover is on the planet's surface, a suitable location will be found to deploy the helicopter down from the vehicle and place it onto the ground. After the rover lands, the helicopter will be placed on the ground. The full 30-day flight test campaign will include up to five flights of incrementally farther flight distances.

The video below shows environmental chamber tests of the Mars Helicopter.

The mission is planned for a launch in July 2020 and is scheduled to arrive on the planet in February 2021 to study the potential for Mars to be inhabited.

According to Bridenstine, the success of the "marscopter" may enable more ambitious missions in the future. These specifications come from the headquarters of the NASA. The six-wheeled rover will hunt for signs of habitable environments as well as sites that may have once hosted microbial life, examining the Red Planet with 23 cameras, a microphone and a drill to collect samples.

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