Nasa is sending a helicopter to search the skies over Mars

12 May, 2018, 06:25 | Author: Tara Reeves
  • Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

In a mission scheduled for the summer of 2020, NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars, the organization announced Friday. But in today's announcement, Bridenstine said the helicopter would build on NASA's "proud history of firsts".

The red planet is getting a helicopter.

The Mars Helicopter is being envisioned as a major advancement for future exploration of the planet, providing a new way of exploring areas of the Mars surface that are not easily accessible by land.

U.S. Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas, who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee overseeing NASA's budget, played up the flight demonstration's inspirational value.

The development on the Mars helicopter began almost five years ago at NASA's jet propulsion laboratory in California.

The helicopter to mars is remote-controlled, created to take flight in the thin Martian atmosphere with twin counter-rotating blades, weighs about four pounds (1.8 kilograms), with a fuselage the size of a softball, NASA said.

The Mars Helicopter has been in development since August 2013 and contains solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries along with a heating mechanism, as temperatures during the Martian night regularly reach -67 F (-55 C), and can go even lower. The flying vehicle looks like a hybrid of a helicopter and a drone.

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The rotor craft weighs in at only 1.8 kilograms, and it will fly to Mars attached to the underbelly of the rover.

"The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet", Ms Aung said. "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 (30,480 meters) up", Mimi Aung, the Mars Helicopter project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement. For example: the red planet's particularly-weak atmosphere and the communication delay between ground control here on Earth and the rover. The rover then will be driven away from the helicopter to a safe distance from which it will relay commands.

What Will The Helicopter Do On Mars?

Instead, the helicopter will "fly the mission on its own". On its first flight, the helicopter will make a short vertical climb to 10 feet (3 meters), where it will hover for about 30 seconds. "That will happen very early in the mission because the capabilities of the helicopter do not allow it to be maintained on the rover for an extended period", project scientist Ken Farley, with the California Institute of Technology, told the National Academy of Sciences' Space Studies Board May 3.

That would be a boon to any future missions to take samples on Mars and return them to Earth for analysis.

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, said the demonstration could blaze a trail for future robotic scouts on Mars. "We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit".


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