NASA Mission 2020: A Helicopter On The Way to Mars

After four years of testing and more than one doubt about whether or not to incorporate it into the passage, NASA’s Mars 2020 mission has a special and unexpected guest: a helicopter. Actually, the one named Mars Helicopter is closer to the drones we know on Earth than helicopters.

Four years to adopt a helicopter to the atmosphere of Mars

Finally, if the mission reaches a good Martian port, in a few years we will be able to see the first images of Mars from a bird’s eye view. It will be possible with the help of the Mars Helicopter, a kind of drone that has adapted its design and operation to be able to fly in conditions very different from those of the Earth.

NASA Mission 2020

Those responsible for the development are the engineers of the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) of NASA. After four years have achieved an autonomous vehicle with a weight of 1.8 kg and that could be the first to rise in the atmosphere of Mars, a challenge for the lower density of air on this planet to discover.

Before your first flight attempt, you will have to arrive in one piece “on the back” of the rover of the Mars 2020 mission, which will leave you on Mars, in a suitable area for your first flight. If everything goes according to plan, this Martian helicopter will try up to five flights that will be progressive. To complete them you have up to 30 days.

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The first one will be the test one, at which time it will only rise 3 meters and will be in the Martian air for a period of no more than 30 seconds. After charging your batteries with the help of solar panels, I would try again more flights with a duration and increasing altitude, although the maximum that will be flying will be 90 seconds.

A Helicopter On The Way to Mars

The flight is autonomous, although the instructions arrive from the Earth, which due to the delay in communications cannot make a real-time control of the helicopter.

Before your first flight attempt, you will have to arrive in one piece “on the back” of the rover of the Mars 2020 mission, which will leave you on Mars, in a suitable area for your first flight. If everything goes according to plan, this Martian helicopter will try up to five flights that will be progressive. To complete them you have up to 30 days.

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The first one will be the test one, at which time it will only rise 3 meters and will be in the Martian air for a period of no more than 30 seconds. After charging your batteries with the help of solar panels, I would try again more flights with a duration and increasing altitude, although the maximum that will be flying will be 90 seconds.

The flight is autonomous, although the instructions arrive from the Earth, which due to the delay in communications cannot make a real-time control of the helicopter.

Via: NASA

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