NASA sending a robot helicopter to Mars in 2020


Instruments aboard the Mars rover will collect rock and soil samples and encase them in sealed tubes to be left on the surface for potential return to Earth.

United States space agency NASA said on Friday it will send a small helicopter to Mars as part of its 2020 mission to place a next-generation rover on the Martian surface, marking the first time such an aircraft will be used on another world.

"NASA has a proud history of firsts", added Bridenstine.

The space agency is looking to make history by sending the autonomous rotorcraft into the skies on the Red planet. This is meant to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars.

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 craft weighs in at little under four pounds, and its fuselage is about the size of a softball. It also has twin blades spinning ten times as fast as an average helicopter at 3,000 rpm. The height record for a helicopter flight on Earth is 12,100 meters, explained Nasa project manager Mimi Aung.

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To rise into the Mars' thin atmosphere, the helicopter's two counter-rotating blades will turn at almost 3,000 revolutions per minute, or more than 10 times as fast as a helicopter's blades on Earth, NASA says.

The strategy is for the Mars Helicopter to fly affixed to the bottom of the Mars 2020 vagabond. If it does work, helicopters may have a real future as low-flying scouts and aerial vehicles to access locations not reachable by ground travel.

After the helicopter is placed on the ground the rover will be directed to drive to a safe distance to relay commands.

After the helicopter's solar cells charge its lithium-ion batteries, NASA controllers on Earth will prepare the craft for its tricky test flights. This would be a 30-day test period that will include up to five flights. Mars is about 20 light minutes away from Earth.

"We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit.With the added dimension of a bird's-eye view from a 'marscopter, ' we can only imagine what future missions will achieve".

Mission 2020 is scheduled to launch in July 2020 together with a new Mars research vehicle and land on the neighboring planet in February 2021.