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NASA to boost helicopter to Mars in marathon mission

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NASA to boost helicopter to Mars in marathon mission

Old 11th May 2018, 22:38
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NASA to boost helicopter to Mars in marathon mission

From Mars helicopter to fly on NASA’s next red planet rover mission
The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.

The...design...weighs in at little under four pounds. Its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter-rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at almost 3,000 rpm.

The helicopter also contains built-in capabilities needed for operation at Mars, including solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries, and a heating mechanism to keep it warm through the cold Martian nights.

"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,” said Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL.

The full 30-day flight test campaign will include up to five flights of incrementally farther flight distances, up to a few hundred meters, and longer durations as long as 90 seconds, over a period. On its first flight, the helicopter will make a short vertical climb to 10 feet (3 meters), where it will hover for about 30 seconds.

The 2020 Marscopter design shows a number of differences to the 'smart rotorcraft field assistant' studied by NASA in 2004, notably a switch from a four-blade rotor to a two-blade system. This paper by NASA's Larry Young provides good insight into the proposed missions studied by the Administration.

Ian Corrigible is offline  
Old 12th May 2018, 05:33
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Helicopter on Mars


Nasa will send helicopter to Mars to test otherworldly flight - BBC News


"The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling," said Nasa Administrator Jim Bridenstine.

While the tiny craft is being called a helicopter rather than a drone, there will be no pilot.

When our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it's already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet up


OBVIOUS REALLY - I guess reliability will be very important
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Old 12th May 2018, 19:15
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Rumours say, they are going to use a Bell407 GXP ��

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Old 12th May 2018, 19:32
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This item was also in the kids news bulletin on TV in the Netherlands.

”The helicopter was planned to be used to reach places which would otherwise be to difficult to reach.”

That made me wonder if there are any places on Mars which are considered to be reached with ease?

Cheers SLB
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Old 12th May 2018, 19:49
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Just wait till the Martian noise complaints start coming in...
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