• News
  • Sci-tech

Small, Autonomous Rotorcraft To Fly On Red Planet — NASA's Mars Helicopter

Small, Autonomous Rotorcraft To Fly On Red Planet — NASA's Mars Helicopter

The US space agency said Friday it plans to launch the first-ever helicopter to Mars in 2020, a miniature, unmanned drone-like chopper that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet.

The Mars 2020 rover will have a mission of its own - including seeking signs of life for two years and using instruments to help NASA learn more about how to safely land humans there.

The Mars Helicopter's development began in 2013 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California. NASA's therefore designed a machine with blades that "will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at nearly 3,000 rpm - about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth", weighs just 1.8kg and has a " fuselage ... about the size of a softball". It will carry solar cells to charge up in the light of the sun and a heating mechanism to endure cold nights on the Red Planet.

The Mars 2020 is expected to in July 2020 and to reach Mars in February 2021.

Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA's Associate Administrator for science, said that the ability to see clearly what lies beyond the next hill is crucial for future explorers, and the views from a helicopter flying across Mars will also provide NASA with a stellar public relations tool as it seeks global support for sending humans to the planet in the 2030s or later.

According to Nasa, the full 30-day test campaign will include up to five flights of incrementally longer distances and durations, ranging up to a few hundred meters and as long as 90 seconds.

"If we were to fly the helicopter as a tech demonstration on something like Mars 2020, we would envision a very small number of flights to prove the aerodynamic and handling characteristics, and the concept of operations, and that would be the end of the demonstration", Watzin said.

JPL Mars Helicopter project manager Mimi Aung said in NASA's statement, "The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet".

It seems like the obvious answer to explore Mars, but sending a helicopter out there is an incredible, but possibly feasible, challenge. "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 up".

Because of its vast distance - Earth will be several minutes away, traveling at the speed of light - Aung said that direct control will be impossible.

NASA Science Mission Directorate Associate Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen said that the project "exemplifies a successful marriage of science and technology innovation and is a unique opportunity to advance Mars exploration for the future".

If a child sees the Curiosity rover on Mars and hears how slow its progress is over the planet, they might be thinking a somewhat obvious question: why don't we just send a helicopter there?

To deliver soil samples from the surface of the red planet, developing a complex chain of engineering solutions. "With the added dimension of a bird's-eye view from a 'marscopter, ' we can only imagine what future missions will achieve".

Leave Your Comment

Leave Your Comment


Latest News

  • CBS declares war on Shari Redstone over Viacom merger

    CBS declares war on Shari Redstone over Viacom merger

    A sticking point in merger talks is what role her handpicked lieutenant - Viacom CEO Bob Bakish - would play. Indeed, CBS shareholders appear to be more content without the weight of a relaunched Viacom to worry about.
    'Divest powers of accused,' Finance Ministry directs PNB, Allahabad bank

    'Divest powers of accused,' Finance Ministry directs PNB, Allahabad bank

    Kumar said there is a set process for removal and dismissal of directors from the board of banks and that has been initiated. Usha Ananthasubramaniam, who was the MD and the CEO of the PNB bank is also expected to be included in the charge sheet.
    Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high of 3.18% in April

    Wholesale inflation rises to 4-month high of 3.18% in April

    A rise in food, fuel, housing and services cost pushed India's annual wholesale and retail inflation rates higher in April. The data revealed that inflation in the fuel and light segment also came in lower at 5.24 per cent month-on-month basis.
  • Koreas in close consultations ahead of N. Korea-US summit

    Koreas in close consultations ahead of N. Korea-US summit

    Narang said that more likely, Kim and Trump will partake in a photo shoot with handshakes and kind words. Such an assurance is unlikely to be given by the nuclear-countries.
    Sichuan Airlines forced to make emergency landing after cockpit windshield breaks off

    Sichuan Airlines forced to make emergency landing after cockpit windshield breaks off

    Although the occurrences of windshields cracking happen quite often, the instance of an entire windshield coming off is rare. Officials from Airbus said it would "would provide all necessary support upon request by the CAAC and Sichuan Airlines".
    U.S.  diplomat involved in deadly crash leaves Pakistan

    U.S. diplomat involved in deadly crash leaves Pakistan

    On Saturday, the authorities in Pakistan prevented the Colonel Hall, from flying out of the country. The US Embassy in Islamabad also confirmed that the US diplomat has left Pakistan, the report said.
  • Submerged: Photos of BC towns battling floods, as new surge predicted

    Submerged: Photos of BC towns battling floods, as new surge predicted

    In addition to properties and homes being affected, highways are also feeling the effects of the flooding. River Forecast Centre has upgraded to a flood warning for the Okanagan, Boundary, and Salmon rivers.
    YouTube TV Gets The 'Voice Remote' Feature For Some Users

    YouTube TV Gets The 'Voice Remote' Feature For Some Users

    Basically, it can be used to play particular shows, switch to a different channel, pause/play, and fast forward or rewind content. Since it is a server side update, the users will be informed when the voice remote will be available on their Android device.
    Scott Arfield's Burnley exit confirmed

    Scott Arfield's Burnley exit confirmed

    New Rangers manager Steven Gerrard hopes to emulate the style of football that Jurgen Klopp has established at Liverpool. Gerrard said of the 29-year-old: "I am delighted to have added Scott Arfield to the squad for next season".
  • Boss Key Productions shuts down

    Boss Key Productions shuts down

    After taking some time away from the industry, he returned to co-found Boss Key Productions alongside Arjan Brussee . Boss Key, which as of September employed 65 people , tried to regroup by focusing its effort on " Radical Heights ".
    US To Help North Korea Economy If It Gives Up Nukes

    US To Help North Korea Economy If It Gives Up Nukes

    This year's Shangri-La Dialogue, set for June 1-3, will include a session titled "Deescalating the North Korean crisis". Libyan leader Muammar Ghadafi agreed to surrender his nascent program which was closed down over three months in 2004.
    Missing 1-year-old found naked, lying in dirt in OR  forest

    Missing 1-year-old found naked, lying in dirt in OR forest

    The sheriff's office said the assault charge stems from an injury Bradley suffered when they believe he was in Blouin's care. The Deschutes County Sheriff's Office said the woman walked away from the vehicle and left the child with Blouin.
  • Salma Hayek speaks frankly about Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo at Cannes

    Salma Hayek speaks frankly about Harvey Weinstein and #MeToo at Cannes

    Hayek also remarked on her allegation of sexual harassment against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein in an op-ed in December. "It is a well-known fact that if you are a woman of color, people believe in you less and believe what you say less.
    Tharoor calls Delhi Police charge sheet preposterous, says he intends to contest

    Tharoor calls Delhi Police charge sheet preposterous, says he intends to contest

    Days before her death, Pushkar has accused her husband publically of having an affair with Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar. Delhi police later sent the viscera to the Federal Bureau of Investigation following a nod from the home ministry.
    Turkey recalls US, Israel ambassadors over Gaza slaughter

    Turkey recalls US, Israel ambassadors over Gaza slaughter

    Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, praised the president for following through on his election promise. The new embassy is located in the city's Arnona neighborhood, in the facility that had heretofore served as the U.S.
  • WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

    WC9 Asteroid Will Whiz Close To Earth On May 15th

    That unnamed asteroid , which exploded some 30 kilometres above the ground, blasted apart with the force of a 500 kilotonne bomb. There's no danger of a collision, but the ~100 meter wide asteroid will be near enough for amateur astronomers to photograph.
    WWE RAW Results May 14 - KO with Elias

    WWE RAW Results May 14 - KO with Elias

    The three told a great story in the ring, and many members of the WWE universe thought that Jose was going to get the win. Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt for the Raw Tag Team Titles official for later in the show during a backstage interview.
    NSC unanimously termed Nawaz Sharif statement as incorrect and misleading

    NSC unanimously termed Nawaz Sharif statement as incorrect and misleading

    However, Sharif's response later in the day was contradictory to both these stances. One of them, Ajmal Kasab , was caught and hanged.

Breaking News



Recommended

Xiaomi Redmi S2 officially launches in China

The IDC report is in line with Counterpoint Research's latest report for the same quarter, even though the numbers vary a little. The company has posted a teaser video on its official Twitter handle that hints the launch date of the upcoming will be June 7.

'Overwatch' anniversary event includes a new Deathmatch map

All previously released loot boxes (like the previously released cosmetics) will be available in the anniversary event. The Overwatch two-year anniversary event will introduce the brand-new Deathmatch map, Petra, along with a new mode.

Schools increasingly seek mental health support for pupils

A 17-year-old girl told Childline: "I suffer with anxiety and panic attacks and find it hard to leave the house or get out of bed. Meanwhile one in six people (16 per cent) said they had self-harmed as a result of feelings of stress.

Horror moment planes collide on Istanbul Airport tarmac

The wing of the Asiana Airbus A330 may be seen hitting the tail fin of the Turkish Airways Airbus A321 knocking it clear off. Asiana and Turkish Airlines had not responded to ATW's request for comment at the time of publication.

Midfielder Arfield swaps Burnley for Rangers

But the former LA Galaxy star is preparing to bring Rangers back into contention and hope to make an immediate impact at the club. Arfield joined the then League One side Huddersfield in 2010, helping them earn promotion to the Championship two years later.

Kevin Love confident Cavs' shooting will improve in Game 2

The Cavs brought Tristan Thompson - who had struggled throughout the regular season and ended up at the backend of the rotation in the playoffs - back into the starting lineup.

Past & Present: MLK's Poor People's Campaign

IMPD Supervisors on scene attempted to speak with protesters individually asking them to move out of the street and they refused. The group staged a surprise protest outside the office of Rep.

Fortnite's Infinity War Crossover Event is Ending Tomorrow

Are they easy enough to get done in a few days of grinding? Are you looking forward to these weekly Fortnite challenges? Follow the gallery above and you'll see exactly where that Battle Star should be.

Juventus complete double with seventh straight Serie A title

Federico Fazio and Lorenzo Pellegrini both tried their luck while Aleksandar Kolarov's free-kick hit the side netting. Juventus play their final game in Turin at the weekend and Allegri promised a big celebration.

Deadline to register to vote in Virginia primaries is May 21

District 5 includes the area south of West Passyunk Avenue west of Broad Street and south of Mifflin Street east of 11th Street. Andre Jacque of De Pere is running against Green Bay businessman Alex Renard for the Republican nomination to the Senate seat.