NASA Mars helicopter intended to be operated in a rarefied atmosphere and low gravity, successfully completed flight tests and is preparing for his journey to the Red Planet is planned to take off in 2020, according to the US space agency.
Weighing in at less than 1.8 kg, a demonstration project helicopter technology is currently undergoing rigorous testing process, proving it to Mars. Most of the flight test model goes through had to do the demonstration of how it might work on Mars, including how it works on Mars, such as temperature, NASA said in a statement.
The helicopter must operate at very low temperatures, including night with temperatures as low as minus 90 degrees Celsius. The helicopter is planned to reach the surface of the Red Planet in February 2021, when firmly placed under the belly of the rover Mars 2020.
A few months later, he will deploy and test flights will begin – the first from the surface of another world, NASA said. "In preparation for the first flight to Mars, we walked for 75 minutes flying time from the engineering model, which has been the approach of our helicopters," said Mimi Aung, project manager Helicopter Mars in NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US. "But this is the last test flight model was the real deal. That's our helicopter bound for Mars. We had to see that it worked as advertised, "said Aung.
During a helicopter flight to the & # 39 is common here on Earth, that hundreds of millions of kilometers fly in the thin atmosphere of Mars, there is something quite different. Creating the necessary conditions for the test in the world presents its own set of problems. "The Martian atmosphere is only about one percent of the density of the Earth," said Aung. "Our test flights may have a similar density of the atmosphere in the world – when you put the airport up 30.480 meters. Thus, you can not go anywhere and find it. You must do this, "she said.
It created a vacuum which sucks all the nitrogen, oxygen and other gases from the air inside the giant cylinder. In their place, command is carbon dioxide, the main component of Mars atmosphere. "As our helicopter in extremely rarefied atmosphere of only part of the problem," said Teddy Tzanetos, test conductor for Mars helicopter at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "To truly simulate a flight to Mars, we need to take two-thirds of the earth's gravity, because gravity of Mars & # 39 is that much weaker," said Tzanetos.
The command is performed via gravity unloading systems – motorized strap attached to the top of the helicopter to provide a continuous lift equivalent to two thirds of the earth's gravity. First Flight Mars helicopter followed by a second vacuum chamber in the next day. Enter a total of one minute of the time of flight at an altitude of five centimeters, 1500 parts carbon fiber aircraft aluminum, silicon, copper, foil and foam have proved that they can operate together as a unit. "The next time we fly, we fly to Mars," said Aung.
Helicopter Mars will be launched as a technology demonstrator from 2020 rover rocket United Launch Alliance Atlas V in July 2020, with a space launch complex 41 at the station at Cape Canaveral, Florida Air Force. It is expected that reach Mars in February 2021.