NASA will send small autonomous helicopter to Mars in 2020

Уфологи обнаружили на Марсе мертвого пришельца принесенного в жертву

Scientists are planning a series of five test flights for the aircraft, which is expected to make its debut on Mars in July of 2020.

"NASA has a proud history of firsts", NASA's administrator, Jim Bridenstine, said in a statement. This is meant to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars.

The helicopter has been in development since 2013, and has been considered as a potential candidate to launch to Mars, but it's finally received official confirmation that it will ride in the "belly panel" of Mars 2020 until the rover touches down.

The helicopter is the result of four years of testing and redesigning a standard helicopter to shrink it down to an object that weighs a little less than four pounds.

To cope with that, the marscopter's twin counter-rotating blades will spin at nearly 3,000 revolutions per minute (rpm), nearly 10 times the rate of an Earth helicopter. "The atmosphere of Mars is only 1% that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it's already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet up", Mimi Aung, the Mars Helicopter project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a news release.

"I am not an advocate for the helicopter and I don't believe the Mars 2020 project has been an advocate for the helicopter", he added.

If the mission proves successful, helicopters will be used in future missions to planets to access locations not reachable by ground travel.

Once the helicopter is placed on Mars, the rover will move to a safe distance and relay commands.

Because Earth will be several light minutes away, "there is no way to joystick this mission in real time", Aung said.

Mars 2020 is scheduled now to launch sometime in July 2020 with a landing slated for February 2021. NASA hopes the helicopter will ascend to around 10 feet and hover there for around 30 seconds on its first flight.

"Instead, we have an autonomous capability that will be able to receive and interpret commands from the ground, and then fly the mission on its own", she said.

What will the Mars Helicopter do? If it does not work, the Mars 2020 mission will not be impacted. Indeed, future Mars settlements could be constructed within the caverns, protected from the harsh conditions of the Martian surface.

According to Bridenstine, the success of the "marscopter" may enable more ambitious missions in the future. "This is a process that has taken place at NASA Headquarters to decide whether the helicopter should be flown". No aircraft has ever taken off from the surface of another planet.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pelosi slams Trump move to clawback Ebola funds amid Congo outbreak
May 12, 2018 - 23:14
Bikoro has a population of about 163,000 spread over an area of approximately 1,075 square kilometers (415 square miles). The virus spreads through direct contact with bodily fluids from an infected person or even a primate or fruit bat.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top US fighter jets intercept 2 Russian bombers
May 12, 2018 - 23:14
The U.S. fighter jets did not get closer then 100 meters to the Russian bombers , the Russian military was quoted as saying. It is the first incident of the kind since United States jets intercepted Russian aircraft over a year ago on May 3, 2017.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Khloe Kardashian shares first pic of newborn baby True
May 12, 2018 - 23:08
The 33-year-old reality star shared the first close-up video of her baby on Saturday, May 12, just four weeks after giving birth. However, it generally seemed to have passed when Khloe attended a Cavs playoff game last weekend in support of her fiancee.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Pompeo: US hopes to have NKorea as 'close partner' not enemy
May 12, 2018 - 23:06
Special rapporteur Tomas Ojea Quintana issued a statement hours after three USA prisoners released by Pyongyang arrived back home. Journalists from other countries, including the United States and South Korea, will be invited to cover the event.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Rockets, Warriors advance to Western Conference finals
May 11, 2018 - 05:14
Upon returning home, the Warriors handled the Pelicans easily and closed them out in Game 5 by a final score of 113-104. Meanwhile in Texas, Chris Paul scored 41 points as Houston made sure of their place in the conference finals.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top McCaffrey: 'Fortnite' has become a force inside the Red Sox clubhouse
May 11, 2018 - 05:12
The 32-year-old left-hander is 2-4 with a 5.11 ERA in seven starts in his third season with the Red Sox . I've always played video games; with my teammates, in the offseason, at the field, in the hotel.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top In W.Va., it's Manchin vs. Morrisey for US Senate
May 11, 2018 - 05:10
Blankenship who has said that he was "Trumpier than [President Donald] Trump" was viewed as a potential problem for the GOP. Jenkins and Morrisey have mostly focusing their campaigns on their own merits, and on criticism of Manchin and each other.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Nadal breaks McEnroe's 34-year-old set record
May 11, 2018 - 05:06
Thiem fought back from a set-and-a-break down against Borna Coric to book his spot against Nadal with a 2-6 7-6 6-4 win. Halep lost to Karolina Pliskova 6-4, 6-3, ending her bid to become a three-time consecutive champion in Madrid .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Man Utd secure second after dour stalemate at West Ham
May 11, 2018 - 05:06
West Ham: Adrian; Rice, Ogbonna, Cresswell; Zabaleta, Kouyate, Noble (c), Masuaku (Carroll 66); Joao Mario, Lanzini, Arnautovic. Phil Jones was less tested, but could easily have given away a penalty had Arnautovic gone down under his lunge late on.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top 8 killed, 4 injured as thunderstorm hits UP
May 11, 2018 - 05:01
Most of the deaths were caused by falling walls or trees in Etawah and Mathura districts, an official at the authority told AFP. At least 12 people were killed from a thunderstorm which lashed parts of Uttar Pradesh on Wednesday, officials said.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Here's why Warren Buffett isn't anxious about Berkshire Hathaway when he retires
May 10, 2018 - 00:41
Now, many have begun looking ahead to upcoming iPhone releases in September as additional propellants for the stock. The firm said it sold 52.2 million iPhones in the last three months, which was in line with analysts' expectations.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Warriors To Face Rockets In Western Conference Finals
May 10, 2018 - 00:40
His desire to play for it all had everything to do with his move to Houston last summer, and this is his chance to follow through. But your body obviously sometimes has a mind of its own", Curry said. "Really, all the starters are playing real heavy minutes".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Yemen rebels fire two missiles at Saudi capital: coalition
May 10, 2018 - 00:38
It was the busiest day in US front-month contracts since August, and for Brent the busiest in nearly a month. But the USA sanctions on Iran, assuming they are effective, mark the end of the current output agreement.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Alex Ferguson Regains Consciousness After Head Surgery
May 10, 2018 - 00:34
Wales manager Giggs was part of all 13 of Ferguson's title-winning sides in a 24-year playing career at Old Trafford. He's a strong man and an optimistic man.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top North Korea frees three USA detainees
May 10, 2018 - 00:32
The U.S. official, who was involved in those talks, said the two sides would meet once again to finalize the details. Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are making plans for a summit that could happen within weeks.