The American space organization NASA will land a helicopter on the planet Mars for the first time on Thursday.
A small helicopter of ingenuity will have several challenges to overcome – the largest is the dilute Martian atmosphere, which is only one percent of Earth’s density. It could be called a helicopter, but it looks closer to a mini drone weighing almost 1.8 kilograms.
This mini chopper has knives that are much larger than usual and therefore can rotate almost five times faster than the same speed required to create an elevator on Earth. The ingenuity has four legs, a box-like housing and four carbon fiber blades arranged in two rotors that rotate in opposite directions allowing it to rotate almost five times faster than the same speed needed to create an elevator on Earth – 2400 rpm.
The ingenuity is equipped with two cameras, computers and navigation sensors. It uses solar cells to charge the batteries, with most of the energy being used for warm on cold Martian nights, where temperatures drop to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius).
The helicopter will fly at an altitude of 3-5 meters (3-5 meters) and travel as much as 50 meters (50 meters) from its initial area and back. It is designed for automatic flying and will not be controlled by the joystick due to the distance from the ground. The ship’s computers will work with sensors and cameras to keep it on the path programmed by its engineers.
What is the goal?
If the mission is successful, it “basically opens up a whole new dimension of Mars exploration,” said Bob Balaram, Ingenuity’s chief engineer.
The U.S. space agency has described this mission as a ‘technology demonstration’ project that seeks to test the new ability along with the astrobiological perseverance mission.