Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Research | By Jennifer Evans

NASA sends a helicopter to Mars

NASA sends a helicopter to Mars

The helicopter will ride with the rover attached to its underbelly, notes the report.

The helicopter is meant to show the viability and usefulness of aircraft on Mars, NASA explained, together with potential roles because of low-flying scout or to attain areas inaccessible out of the floor.

While the helicopter has been deemed a high-risk, high-reward operation, NASA employees say that if it fails, it will not impact the 2020 mission.

Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL, explains why it was necessary to make the Mars-bound helicopter stronger and more powerful than anything that came before it. Now it appears that the company has actually made a decision that this helicopter concept might in fact function. Now, it wants to prove that it can sustainably fly around the planet's thin atmosphere at low altitude - with a tiny helicopter. After that the helicopter will be on its own; flying independently. Which might imply it's feasible to send out future flying automobiles to Mars to check places that are hard to accessibility. Engineers at JPL are now working to get the helicopter's weight and shape of the just right.

The altitude record for a helicopter flying on Earth is about 40,000 feet.

The helicopter is the result of four years of testing and redesigning a standard helicopter to shrink it down to an object that weighs a little less than four pounds. Its blades will spin almost 3,000 litres, approximately 10 times the rate employed by helicopters on the planet. An helicopter on Mars, however, poses a special technical challenge.

The Mars helicopter is said to have two pairs of rotors turning around 3,000 times per minute. At some point, the helicopter will certainly aim to remove, as well as it'll need to do the trip totally by itself, also. This will further pave way for sending similar vehicles to Mars in the future to look at regions on the planet which are hard to access.

"We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit", said Thomas Zurbuchen of NASA in an announcement.

It is specifically created to fly in the atmosphere of Red Planet which is 100 times thinner than Earth's. The mission of the helicopter is to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars. The Mars Helicopter and the Mars 2020 rover will be carried into space by a United Launch Alliance Atlas V, scheduled to take off from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft will certainly after that come down on Mars in February of 2021.

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