NASA wants to prove that more than a century has passed since the first spacecraft on Earth, and that a machine can fly to another planet. Carrying on its 2020 mission to Mars to reach its destination on Thursday, the tiny ingenuity helicopter must make a feat: the rise of the wind with a density equal to 1% of the Earth’s atmosphere.
Ingenuity really looks like a huge drone. The main challenge for engineers is: to make it as light as possible so that it can lift itself up in very light air. It weighs only 1.8 kg. It has four feet, one body and two Super Imposs propellers. It measures 1.2 meters from one end of a plate to the other. The propellers rotate at 2,400 rpm (revolutions per minute), which is five times faster than a standard helicopter.
Ingenuity has solar panels to recharge its batteries, most of the energy used for global warming (which is -90 வில் C at night on Mars). It can also take photos and videos. The helicopter was placed under the belly of the main mission vehicle, the Perseverance Rover. Once on Mars, it will be dropped to the ground and the rover will roll over it to move away from it.
90 second flights
Gradually up to five flights of difficulty are planned, over a month window, at the beginning of the mission. It can grow up to 5 m in height and move up to 300 m, but it will go very low for the first test. Each flight lasts up to one and a half minutes, “This is no small feat compared to 12 seconds” On the first motor-equipped aircraft on Earth, NASA argues.
There is no joystick to control it as it takes about twenty minutes to pass between Earth and Mars. It flies at autonomy: commands are sent, but thanks to the continuous sensors that help it navigate. The results of the flights will be obtained after a long time.
What to do?
NASA calls this experiment a demonstration mission: there is no scientific purpose other than collecting data on the behavior of a ship on another planet, other than to prove that it can fly on Mars.
In the future, such machines will be possible “Usher in a new era on Mars”, Project chief engineer Bob Balaram. By going to a place where Rovers can’t go (above the valleys …). We can also imagine that they will search and then bring to a site, samples deposited by previous trips. For example, diligence should begin to collect samples, in the next phase of the March 2020 journey.