NASA Conducts Final Test on Mars Helicopter Before Launch

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NASA’s Mars 2020 mission is lastly having condition. The rover lastly has a title — Perseverance, and engineers have wrapped up testing on the rover’s traveling companion. The Mars Helicopter just spun its blades on Earth for the very last time. When future it spins up, it’ll be on the purple world. 

NASA did not layout the Mars 2020 mission or Perseverance rover all over the Mars Helicopter, but it’s creating the vacation even so. The helicopter is a technologies demonstration, not an integral section of the mission. Even so, it could pave the way for future traveling endeavors on Mars. The staff has previously confirmed that the helicopter must be capable to fly in the thin Martian ambiance many thanks to its extremely-gentle layout and the planet’s lessen gravity. 

The very last flight examination took put about a calendar year in the past (see down below), and the helicopter nevertheless has not lifted off again — it’s tuned for the Martian ambiance, so any flights on Earth call for substantial planning to stay clear of detrimental the equipment. Even so, the staff did carry out one more crucial examination of the rotors very last week in the Payload Harmful Servicing Facility. 

Engineers ran the Mars Helicopter rotors at 50 RPM on a static examination stand, which is much slower than they’ll rotate on Mars. The planet’s thin ambiance indicates even a gentle craft like the four-pound helicopter demands a incredibly high amount of rotation to crank out raise. The layout makes it possible for for up to 2,800 revolutions for each moment, but it must be capable to raise off at all over 1,900 RPM. The JPL examination confirms the motor is doing work as intended, and the helicopter is ready to be mounted on the underside of the Perseverance rover. 

Despite the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, NASA has worked to continue to keep the Mars 2020 mission on-agenda. Function has stopped on the James Webb House Telescope for now, but the clock is ticking for the rover. If it does not launch as prepared this summertime, NASA will have to wait around yet another two yrs for Earth and Mars to be aligned again. 

If all goes as prepared, Perseverance will contact down on Mars in February 2021. It will deploy the helicopter, which has its own solar energy procedure and camera. It will communicate with Perseverance wirelessly through the ZigBee radio protocol. Picture info from the helicopter might assistance Perseverance navigate the hard terrain of Mars, but future traveling drones could be much more integral to checking out Mars.

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