Home / Internet / NASA's next Mars rover will have a helicopter on board – CNET

NASA's next Mars rover will have a helicopter on board – CNET

This representation displays what the Mars Helicopter would possibly appear to be because it readies for takeoff.


Choppers on Mars? Yeah! 

NASA mentioned Friday it might ship “an independent rotorcraft” along side a rover on a Mars 2020 project. Everyone knows that is NASA-speak for “marscopter.”

A Mars Helicopter prototype undergoes some trying out on Earth.

Video screenshot by means of Amanda Kooser/CNET

The theory of the gap helicopter is not new. NASA talked concerning the proposed project add-on again in 2015 and it is been in construction since 2013. However no longer each and every advised piece of generation will get at the ultimate project roster. The helicopter made the reduce.

The design is compact sufficient to slot in the stomach of the Mars 2020 rover for the adventure to the Purple Planet. As soon as there, it is going to use sun cells to price its batteries and function a integrated heater to battle frigid midnight temperatures. 

The helicopter has to take care of the skinny Martian surroundings, so it must be each light-weight and strong. “Its fuselage is concerning the dimension of a softball, and its dual, counter-rotating blades will chunk into the skinny Martian surroundings at nearly three,000 rpm – about 10 instances the speed of a helicopter on Earth,” says NASA.

NASA launched an animated video of the helicopter zipping round Mars to the track of a heart-pounding soundtrack. It is going on to turn some exact flight check pictures of the way the system would function in a Mars-like surroundings. 

As soon as on Mars, NASA plans to deploy the helicopter for a 30-day flight check marketing campaign with as much as 5 flights protecting step by step higher distances. 

“We would not have a pilot and Earth will probably be a number of mild mins away, so there is not any strategy to joystick this project in actual time,” says Mimi Aung, the Mars Helicopter mission supervisor. That is why it has to fly itself autonomously as soon as it receives its directions.

If the marscopter works, it is going to open up a brand new approach of having a look on the Purple Planet by means of giving the rover and NASA scientists again on Earth an eye fixed within the sky. That will fill in some gaps between the rover’s close-to-the-ground digicam point of view and the long-distance view we get from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Is it loopy to assume we will be able to fly a helicopter on any other planet? NASA recognizes the problem, pronouncing this can be a “high-risk, high-reward mission.” The Mars 2020 rover is heading in the right direction for a mid-2020 release date.

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