Published: Sun, May 13, 2018
Science | By

A Helicopter on Mars? NASA wants to try

A Helicopter on Mars? NASA wants to try

Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said the mission provided "a unique opportunity to advance Mars exploration for the future".

After the rover lands on Mars in 2021, NASA will use the spacecraft's cameras to scan the ground of the planet, find a suitable flat place to set the tiny helicopter down.

Its design team spent more than four years shrinking a working helicopter to "the size of a softball" and cutting its weight to 1.8kg (4lbs).

The layout for the Mars Helicopter has actually remained in the benefit the last 4 years at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, yet the room company had yet to determine if it was really mosting likely to send out the lorry to Mars. "The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it's already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet [30,000 m] up".

NASA officials said the rotorcraft will reach the Red Planet's surface attached to the car-sized rover.

If Mars Helicopter works, it will constitute another space first for NASA, the first flight on another world.

Double screw Mars Helicopter is able to rotate at a speed 10 times the speed of the earth's helicopters.

" NASA has a honored background of firsts", NASA Manager Jim Bridenstine stated in a declaration on Friday mid-day, in the center of SpaceX's Block 5 launch. Scientists want to test the way "heavier air" vehicles will operate on the red planet, a NASA spokesman said.

Once the helicopter is transported to Mars by way of the rover, it will begin flying around the planet on its own.

"To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinize everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be", Aung adds.

The aim is that the craft will carry out five flights, and would travel further each time, up to a few hundred meters for 90 seconds. "We don't have a pilot and Earth will be several light minutes away, so there is no way to joystick this mission in real time", said Aung.

This self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity Mars rover shows the vehicle on Vera Rubin Ridge, Mars. "The Mars Helicopter holds much guarantee for our future scientific research, exploration, as well as expedition objectives to Mars".

The rover has six-wheels and is engineered to search for the habitable environments on the Martian surface.

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