NASA Plans to Send a Helicopter to Mars with 2020 Rover

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It looks like NASA is making better plans to fly on Mars with its helicopters rather than crawl the surface of the red planet with its previous launch of Mars Rover.

According to a recent statement issued by NASA, its 2020 mission will include a copter that will be, according to NASA, will be much faster than the crawling rovers that it has already launched on Mars.

According to NASA’s report which it announced recently, the copter they’re planning to send on Mars will be much faster than the crawling robots which it earlier sent to Mars. It will also be able to see further than the rovers and will also be able to maneuver its way out of Mar’s surface rather than getting struck in it.

As the atmosphere on the red planet is much lighter than that of Earth, the copters need to be ore lighter and also need to rotate the blades much faster to achieve the lift. With all this in mind, NASA has designed a machine that will enter the atmosphere of Mars with almost 3,000 rpm which is ten times faster than the average rate of rotations for a helicopter here on Earth. The copter is also said to be very light weigh with just over 1.8 kg and has a fuselage about the size of a football.

NASA has also conducted some five test flights where the new copter had to first climb a height of some 3 meters and hover around for 30 seconds before descending. The agency further added that subsequent flights will be however much longer in duration (about 90 seconds) and reach heights of about some hundred meters.

NASA further claims that as the copter is actually non-essential for the mission, and added that even if it fails, the rest of the mission will be carried as usual. After the Russians dropped some balloons into the atmosphere as part of their Venus mission, the new helicopter from NASA will be the first of its kind as the flying machine to Mars and also the first human-designed heavier-than-air vehicle to be sent to Mars.