NASA sends a helicopter to Mars

13 May, 2018, 06:44 | Author: Enrique Watson
  • NASA is planning to send a helicopter to Mars in July of 2020

When the Mars 2020 mission sends a rover to the Red Planet, there will also be a helicopter sent with it to fly around Mars and take photos.

The Mar's helicopter carries twin blades, which whirls about ten times the blades of the aircraft on the Earth's surface. Yes, when the administration launches its next rover to the red planet; it will have a small helicopter along for the ride. "The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery, and exploration missions to Mars". According to the agency, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California, has been working on the "marscopter" project since August 2013.

Double screw Mars Helicopter is able to rotate at a speed 10 times the speed of the earth's helicopters. Jim Bridenstine is an administrator at the National Aeronautical and Space Administration.

"After the Wright Brothers proved 117 years ago that powered, sustained, and controlled flight was possible here on Earth, another group of American pioneers may prove the same can be done on another world", Zurbuchen added.

It also has solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries, and a heating mechanism so it can endure the cold Martian temperatures after dark.

"The elevation record for a helicopter flying on the planet is about 40,000 feet (12,200 meters)". It will be the first helicopter on another planet. The thin air at the surface of Mars is the equivalent of being 100,000 feet above Earth - well beyond the limits of terrestrial helicopters - although the weaker gravity helps.

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For its trip to Mars, the helicopter will be packed on the underside of the rover.

"To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinise everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be", Ms Aung added. The project carries a "high risk" with it, admitted NASA.

Pilots on Earth will control the next-generation aircraft for small test flights at first, and then gradually expand the range and duration as they determine its potential to scout and study previously inaccessible locations.

Mars 2020 is scheduled for launch in 2020 in the month of July.

Mars 2020 is slated to launch in July of that year on United Launch Alliance's Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, and the mission should arrive at Mars in February 2021.

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