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Mars mission: first helicopter flight to another planet - with "ingenuity" drone

Mars mission: first helicopter flight to another planet – with “ingenuity” drone

Der Nasa-Rover »Perseverance Successfully landed on Mars. Launched from space in Cape Canaveral in July 2020, the robot touched a dangerous maneuver on a dry lake called the Jessero Greater, which was never explored on site. Shortly after landing, the rover was already sending the first images to Earth.

Costing about $ 2.5 billion (approximately சுமார் 2.2 billion), the rover was designed and built over a period of about eight years and aims to search for traces of previous microbial life on Mars. Weighing in at about 1,000 kilograms, the robot is equipped with an ultra-light helicopter called the IQ. “Ingenuity” – English for “ingenuity” – is said to fly in the Martian atmosphere. This is a particular challenge because the Martian atmosphere is only one percent of the density of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Lots of battery power to heat the drone

So NASA engineers had to create as much light as possible to carry the drone into a very thin Martian atmosphere. It weighs just 1.8 kilograms and is four feet long, with a missile and two propellers. The propellers rotate 2400 times per minute, which is five times faster than a normal helicopter.

“Ingenuity” has four solar panels to recharge its batteries. Most of the energy is needed to reheat the aircraft after a night temperature of minus 90 degrees. “Intelligence” can take photos and videos of Mars during flights.

90 second flights

“Ingenuity” is expected to complete five flights over the surface of Mars. The aircraft can climb up to five meters and fly up to 300 meters. In the first test, however, a considerably shorter distance must be covered. Each flight may take up to one and a half minutes. NASA insists that this is no small “compared to the twelve seconds” taken by the first motor-equipped aircraft on Earth.

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Since it takes about 20 minutes to transfer data from Mars to Earth, the ingenuity is not remotely controlled, but flies independently. NASA only issues basic commands, and uses many sensors to distract the intelligence itself. The results of the flights will only be available shortly.

Subject? Show that it works

NASA speaks of “ingenuity” as a demonstration mission. It has no other scientific purpose than to show that it is possible to fly to Mars. In addition, NASA wants to collect data from an aircraft on another planet with this project.

In the future, such aircraft could “open a new era for Mars,” says Bob Balaram, the project’s chief engineer. For example, they may reach areas that Rovers cannot do. Such mini-helicopters will be able to “report” to a station on Mars in the future, i.e. they will be able to deliver their measurement data, images and rock samples there.

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