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Nasa’s 2020 mission will launch the Mars Helicopter

Since 2013, a Mars Helicopter, said to be attached to the belly of the Mars 2020 Rover, has been in development at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. The helicopter will be deployed as soon as the rover reaches the ground, with twin counter-rotating blades, spinning near 3,000 rpm. This is a huge difference to the rate Earth helicopters, where blades only spin at 300rpm.

“The altitude record for a helicopter flying here on Earth is about 40,000 feet,” said Mimi Aung, Mars Helicopter project manager at JPL. “The atmosphere of Mars is only one percent that of Earth, so when our helicopter is on the Martian surface, it’s already at the Earth equivalent of 100,000 feet up.

“To make it fly at that low atmospheric density, we had to scrutinise everything, make it as light as possible while being as strong and as powerful as it can possibly be.”

You can read more here at The Engineer

Photo Credit: The Engineer

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Category

engineering

Date

May 14, 2018

Author

Sally

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