NASA Mars Helicopter Will Depart with 2020 Mars Rover Mission


The U.S. Space Agency (NASA) announced that in addition to launching the Mars 2020 rover mission as originally planned in 2020, an additional passenger will be added: the Mars micro helicopter, which will be closer to the satellite than the orbiting satellite. Mars surface.

The Mars Helicopter was developed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and is a small robotic rotorcraft that will be launched along with the Mars 2020 rover in July 2020 and launched in February 2021. Reaching Mars may bring exciting horizons to exploration missions.

Due to the weak atmosphere of Mars, helicopters must maintain a very light body type, and at the same time should be equipped with powerful functions as much as possible. After 4 years of design, the team will eventually reduce the weight of helicopters to less than 4 pounds (about 1.8 kilograms). The body size is only equivalent to A softball.

The average atmospheric pressure on the surface of Mars is only 6 hPa, which is less than 1% of the atmospheric pressure on the Earth’s surface (Earth pressure is 1013 hPa). At present, the maximum flying height of the planet is recorded as 12,100 meters, but when the helicopter is on the surface of Mars. When flying, it is already equal to flying above 30,000 meters above the earth. Therefore, in order to fly smoothly, the double-reversal blades equipped by the Mars helicopter will have a speed of nearly 3,000 rpm (about 10 times the speed of the Earth’s helicopter).

NASA said that the helicopter is also equipped with a solar cell that can charge lithium-ion batteries, and a heating facility to prevent the helicopter from losing temperature on cold nights. Once logged into Mars, the team will begin a full 30-day test, with a maximum range of up to several hundred meters and duration of 90 seconds over five voyages. The first flight test helicopter will climb 3 meters vertically and hover in the air for 30 seconds. If the test fails, it will not affect the original mission of the Mars Rover 2020.

source: NASA

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