NASA to Send Autonomous Helicopter to Mars

NASA to Send Autonomous Helicopter to Mars

Aerospace Agency of the USA (NASA) and European space Agency (ESA) are working on an ambitious project to deliver to Earth soil and rocks from Mars.

NASA announced this afternoon that it plans to launch a tiny, four-pound, autonomous helicopter along with its 2020 rover mission.

While Russian missions to Venus dropped balloons into its atmosphere, this helicopter will be both the first powered flying machine and the first human-designed heavier-than-air vehicle to visit another planet.

An administrator at NASA, Jim Bridenstine, recently posted a concept clip of the drone on Twitter. This first-ever spaceborne all-sky transit survey will identify planets ranging from Earth-sized to gas giants, around a wide range of stellar types and orbital distances. However, it's no secret that these rovers are not the most agile of tools nor are they the easiest to maneuver through the rocky terrains of Mars.

Weighing in at just 1.8kg, the Mars Helicopter has a fuselage roughly the size of a softball, as well as solar cells to charge its lithium-ion batteries and a heating mechanism to keep it warm through the cold Martian nights.

"To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinize everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be", said Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

More news: North Korea begins dismantlement of nuclear test site

Knowing what the Mars helicopter is capable of is all well and good, but we won't get an accurate idea of how the craft functions until we see it deployed on the Red Planet itself - a goal which NASA will likely achieve sooner rather than later. The twin blades of the helicopter will rotate ten times faster than the helicopters on Earth. "We already have great views of Mars from the surface as well as from orbit".

The helicopter will ride to Mars attached to the rover's belly pan, officials said. However, if it does work, helicopters may have a real future in interplanetary exploration.

However, reality is not that simple as unlike Earth's atmosphere, the Martian atmosphere is 100 times thinner which poses enormous challenges for a helicopter. NASA has tested the helicopter prototype in a Mars-like atmosphere, proving that it will be able to take flight on the red planet.

Since it still takes several minutes for the signal between Earth and Mars to reach the drone even when traveling at light speed, it's only natural to make the flying vehicle partially autonomous.

NASA hopes that the helicopter will fly around 10 feet high and then stay hovering stable for 30 seconds for its firs test flight. "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 Mars 2020 mission is due to arrive at the red planet in February 2021.

Related News:

  • Cameron Smith makes shock Queensland and Australia representative retirement

    Cameron Smith makes shock Queensland and Australia representative retirement

    The 34-year-old officially announced his representative retirement at a media conference in Melbourne this afternoon. I know he's been a great player, but most importantly a person for the game more than anything else".
    Scientists successfully transfer memory from one snail to another

    Scientists successfully transfer memory from one snail to another

    Previous studies point out that, after amnesia, long-term memory can be restored by using a priming component. Scientists believe they have successfully transplanted the memory of snails into other snails.
    HP's all-in-one brings Alexa to the party

    HP's all-in-one brings Alexa to the party

    If you'd prefer more screen real estate, there will be a 15.6-inch Envy x360 15 with the same hardware options starting at $750. Besides, the EliteBook x360 1030 G3 has a full-HD (1080p) webcam and comes with 18 hours of battery life on a single charge.
  • Tesla Model S crashes into truck in Utah

    Tesla Model S crashes into truck in Utah

    Tesla faces a slew of other issues, from increased skepticism over its finances to safety probes by regulators. Police said they had been in contact with the National Transportation Safety Board about the crash.
    Miss Marvel: Muslim superhero film in the works, says Marvel

    Miss Marvel: Muslim superhero film in the works, says Marvel

    Having said that, several fans have already have suggested that Quantico actor Priyanka Chopra should star as the character. The Bollywood diva working in Hollywood has already voiced the character in the mobile video game Marvel: Avengers Academy.
    Old data presents latest evidence of Europa plumes

    Old data presents latest evidence of Europa plumes

    That's particularly exciting because it also suggests that Europa may have an energy source propelling the water skyward. According to Jai, data studied here showed "compelling independent evidence that there seems to be a plume on Europa ".
  • PM Modi to commence a visit to Russian Federation  on May 21

    PM Modi to commence a visit to Russian Federation on May 21

    MEA said that both the leaders will discuss their respective national developmental priorities and bilateral matters. India is understood to have conveyed to Moscow its strong support given the current geopolitical situation.
    Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino 'wants £150m overhaul'

    Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino 'wants £150m overhaul'

    Lucas Moura won the ball high up the pitch and released Kane, who raced in on goal and shot past Eldin Jakupovic at the near post. And Pochettino's side made no mistake as they ran out 5-4 winners in a insane game against Leicester City at Wembley.
    Nokia X6 full specs leak via promo images

    Nokia X6 full specs leak via promo images

    Earlier reports also indicated that the smartphone may arrive in two processor variants of Snapdragon 636 SoC and MediaTek P60. The listing also shows a primary memory of 5723MB which indicates that the smartphone may feature 6GB of RAM.
  • Maharashtra ATS arrests terror suspect

    Maharashtra ATS arrests terror suspect

    The man, whose identity is yet to be revealed is born and brought up in Mumbai and is close to Indian Mujahideen founder Amir Reza Khan.
    Superman's star Margot Kidder passes away at 69

    Superman's star Margot Kidder passes away at 69

    She was such a strong woman. "There was a lot of death in her life lately and she felt the weight of that". She continued to act in many movies and TV shows, most recently the 2017 film "The Neighborhood".
    Reactions To Tim Cook's Duke Commencement Speech

    Reactions To Tim Cook's Duke Commencement Speech

    Apple chooses its products not to be customers, an opinion Cook emphasized again during Duke's graduation ceremony on Sunday. In 2014, meanwhile, hackers were able to access private photographs belonging to celebrities before posting them online.


Most liked

Senate should confirm Gina Haspel
If approved by the committee, Haspel's nomination would head to the Senate, which is expected to narrowly confirm her appointment. Haspel enjoys widespread support from CIA Directors and Chiefs of Staff from Republican and Democratic Administrations.

Dallas School Board proposes new preliminary budget with tax increase
Voting will be held Tuesday between noon and 9 p.m.at the Vernon Town Offices, Verona Fire Station, and Sherrill Court Facility. The law limits to $10,000 the amount of state and local taxes that property owners can deduct on their federal income taxes.

China mum about whether Xi will meet Trump, Kim in Singapore
In the broadcast, manager Heo Kang-il claimed that the NIS had blackmailed him into tricking the women into coming to South Korea. US analysts highlighted Singapore's political neutrality, geological proximity and cultural diversity.

F1: Vettel falls 17 behind Hamilton
Vettel gave away his position when Ferrari made a decision to go for an extra stop and give the German driver fresher tyres. He added: "The pressure and the passion that I have to win this championship are far greater than I've ever had it".

Cashier-free Amazon Go stores are coming to Chicago and San Francisco
After that, Amazon's system uses cameras and other sensors to track shoppers and identify what they take off shelves. The story said the company could open as many as six storefronts in 2018, citing people familiar with the plans.

Fox to add Tim Allen's 'Last Man Standing' to fall lineup
Hulu also now has an SVOD deal with the show, so the two entities have a relationship of some nature already. And on Friday the show's executive producer Michael Schur took to Twitter to share the exciting news.

RAGE 2 - Official Gameplay Trailer
With E3 2018 just around the corner, it will be interesting to see exactly how much gameplay fans will be shown later today. Firstly, as expected RAGE 2 will launch on Xbox One, PS4 and PC as evidenced by boxart for each platform.

Vodafone's Colao to step down
It also comes ahead of the merger of its struggling Indian business with Idea Cellular, a deal that is expected to close in June. He joined Vodafone in 2001 as UK finance director, before serving stints as UK chief commercial officer and UK chief executive.

OPPO's Realme 1 smartphone launched for Rs. 8990
Realme with a range of devices "Made for and in India", will share OPPO's two manufacturing facilities in the country. Additionally, SBI customers will be able to purchase the Realme 1 on a no-cost EMI option and a 5 percent cashback.

Hedge fund manager to buy Carolina Panthers for record price
A source who knows Tepper has said that if he were to come to Charlotte, "you should assume that (philanthropy) would continue". His investment is now worth $122.5 million, based on the current valuation of the Steelers ($2.45 billion, per Forbes ).

Low pens new Germany deal drops 27-man provisional WC squad
World Cup-winning goalscorer Mario Gotze has been left out of Germany's squad for June's tournament in Russian Federation . They face Sweden in Sochi six days later before rounding off their Group F campaign against South Korea in Kazan.

Jared Kushner Reportedly Putting The Final Touches on Middle East Peace Plan
That we are not condemned to relive history, and that the way things were is not how they must forever be". After a violent day of protests along the Gaza border fence that coincided with the opening of the U.S.

Avengers: Infinity War's Thanos leaves Fortnite tomorrow
Developer Epic Games announced today on Twitter that the battle royale game's next update is coming on May 15. One big change being made to the game tomorrow will be the removal of the Infinity Gauntlet Mode .

Stars Snubbed For Brazil's 2018 FIFA World Cup Squad
PSG were next, with Neymar and defenders Marquinhos and Thiago Silva all likely to play key roles in Russian Federation . Brazil are in Group E and face Switzerland (June 17), Costa Rica (June 22) and Serbia (June 27).

Kaspersky Lab to open Swiss data centre to combat spying allegations
Eugene Kaspersky, CEO of Kaspersky Lab, said the move will allow his firm to rebuild customer trust and deal with industry challenges.