Martian helicopter almost ready to be sent to the Red Planet
The project is a pilot marsinaskogo helicopter, which will go to the Red Planet in the company with a new rover space agency NASA in 2020, went up to the final testing phase. As indicated on the official website of the American space agency, the mission will be the first time in history that when the atmosphere of Mars (and the other planets in general) will be operated rotorcraft.
"No one had not created a helicopter for Mars, so for us, as for everyone else, this is a completely new and unique experience. Our flight model - the device that will fly to Mars - has recently successfully completed several very important tests, "- says Mimi Ong, head of the project Martian helicopter Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) NASA in Pasadena, California.
As the helicopter will fly Martian NASA?
The laws of physics say that in terms of Mars flying impossible. The challenge raised in a much more rarefied than the Earth's air Red Planet aircraft heavier than that of the air itself seems impossible. However, NASA still decided to test this idea, and therefore the mission "Mars 2020" on the Red Planet will be delivered to the demonstrator, who will have to make the first controlled flight in the conditions of the Martian atmosphere. On how the car will be able to fly in conditions of Mars, we are told in one of our previous articles. In January of this year, JPL experts have already conducted tests in a helicopter "artificial Martian environment." These framework rotor helicopter exposed to low temperature (-129 degrees Celsius), and fly within the chamber, wherein the conditions simulated Mars atmosphere. Then a compact vehicle that weighs just 1 kilogram 8 transported to the plant of Lockheed Martin Space, where to check its compatibility with the system, which will keep him at the new Mars rover "Mars 2020" with whom he will fly to the Red Planet. Test task was to ensure the survival of the helicopter in conditions of Mars, that he will experience after launch.
Since the project is experimental, Martian helicopter will not bear any of the scientific equipment. Its main task will check the possibility of flight within the atmosphere of Mars (density is only one percent of the earth), which also proves the possibility hyperdistant unmanned control apparatus of this type with the Earth. However, the machine will be equipped with a camera that can keep the color pictures in high resolution, which in the future may increase the potential use of such devices for the study of the Red Planet.
Why helicopters on Mars?
If the test of the helicopter on Mars really take place and are successful, the new generation of similar devices can already be used for research purposes. For example, due to such drones NASA experts will be able to explore the Martian rocks up close, take pictures in confined areas, including caves.
In May, the helicopter returned to the company JPL, where his revision was carried out. In addition, he held a number of key tests. In particular, helicopter Mars installed a new solar panel and produced test rotors, to make sure that all parts of the machine 1500 made of carbon fiber, aircraft aluminum, silicon, copper, foil and airgel continue to operate integrally.
"We look forward to the completion of all the tests and preparations, as well as helicopter installed on the rover this summer. But, of course, the most important tests - on Mars - the machine only expect ", - says Ong.
The mission of "Mars 2020" will start in July 2020. Launch vehicles will be carried out with the help of the carrier rocket "Atlas 5" owned by United Launch Alliance. Landing on Mars is to be held February 18, 2021. The main objective of the mission is to study the crater cezerye where NASA hopes to find signs of ancient life.
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