FP TrendingJun 25, 2020 16:34:31 IST
NASA has now announced that it plans to fly a helicopter on Mars in an attempt to prove that powered-flight is possible on a planet other than Earth.
According to a report in Independent, the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will launch from Earth, attached to the Perseverance rover as part of the space agency's mission to the Red Planet.
The report adds that after landing on Mars on 18 February 2021, the helicopter will then safely detach itself from the rover and navigate the 12.7 cm journey to the Martian surface before trying a lift-off.
The report quoted MiMi Aung, project manager of the Mars Helicopter at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as saying, "Ingenuity is unlike any other helicopter ever built because powered controlled flight at Mars is unlike anything ever attempted."
According to a report in SciTech Daily, Ingenuity's fuselage containing computers, cameras and batteries is the size of a football. The helicopter also sports an antenna, solar panel, landing legs and two rotors, all of which, according to astronauts, makes deploying the helicopter a challenge.
Chris Salvo, the helicopter interface lead of the Mars 2020 mission at JPL said, “On a Mars rover mission, the addition of even one new washer is usually worthy of debate,” adding, "The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter is a large, fragile, unique assemblage of hardware that is dissimilar to anything NASA has ever accommodated on a planetary mission.”
The report adds that around the 60th Martian day, Perseverance will drop the Mars Helicopter Delivery System’s graphite composite debris shield that protected the helicopter during landing.
Following that, it will drive to the centre of the chosen airfield, where after six days, the helicopter will attempt the lift-off.
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