Resolved: NASA will send a helicopter to Mars

On Friday, it became known that NASA will still send a small helicopter to Mars within the framework of the mission of the space agency 2020, during which the new-generation rover will be launched on the surface of the Red Planet. For the first time in history, an aircraft of this kind will be used outside the Earth.

Mars Helicopter with remote control, designed for flight in the thin atmosphere of Mars, with two counter-rotating blades, weighs about two kilograms. Its blades will rotate at a speed of 3000 rpm, which is about 10 times higher than the speed of rotation of the blades of Earth’s helicopters.

“The record of helicopter flight altitude on Earth is about 11 thousand meters. The atmosphere of Mars is 1% terrestrial, so when our helicopter is on the surface of Mars, it will be equivalent to a flight at an altitude of 30,480 meters, “says Mimi Ong, project manager at Mars Helicopter of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA.

The helicopter will go to Mars along with the rover of 2020. After placing the helicopter on the surface, the rover will depart to a safe distance. The first autonomous flight of Mars Helicopter will be carried out with the help of operators from the Earth, when tests and batteries will be performed. The helicopter is equipped with solar panels to charge its lithium-ion batteries and a heating mechanism that will keep the heat on cold nights.

Surveying the surface of Mars with a fast and active helicopter promises to be a real breakthrough. The prospect of such research was too exciting to not be considered. Given the low speed of movement and limited navigation capabilities of the rover, the helicopter will be an excellent aid in exploration and identification of places of interest.

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Resolved: NASA will send a helicopter to Mars


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