Friday , May 14 2021

A NASA helicopter is disconnected from the spacecraft ahead of a flight over Mars



The US space agency NASA has announced that the small “Ingenuity” helicopter installed under the “Perseverance” mobile robot that arrived on Mars in February, separated from the main vehicle and overturned on the Red Earth, according to the French. News agency”.

And the lab in charge of NASA’s helicopter program tweeted Saturday night “The Mars helicopter is on the surface!”

The “ingenuity” was very light, resembling a large, folded and installed drone under the “Perseverance” mobile robot that landed on the red earth on February 18, and remained in place until the robot reached the point from which a helicopter was supposed to take off.

In another tweet, the lab noted that “the flight (helicopter) 293 million miles (471 million km) long ended in this small jump of 10 inches (10 cm) from the spacecraft’s belly to the surface of Mars.” He added, “The next test: survival at night.”

And a photo accompanying the tweet showed the “perseverance” robot moving away from the helicopter, and it should move away in less than 25 hours enough to make room for the sunlight the helicopter needs to generate its energy by solar panels so it can warm itself on cold Mars nights.

The ingenuity so far has guaranteed its power from Rover, but it should refuel itself further.

The chief engineer of the Mars helicopter project, Bob Palram, said that “there is a small coolant that allows it to maintain a temperature of about seven degrees Celsius inside the helicopter, while the night temperatures on Mars drop to minus minus degrees Celsius.”

He explained that it “helps protect the main equipment of the device.”

Over the next two days, the ground crew will verify that the solar panels are operating as planned, before they start testing the motors and sensors before the first foray, which is not expected to take place before April 11th.

Invention will make the first flight of a motor vehicle to a non-Earth planet. If the test is successful, it will be a great achievement, since the density of Mars’ atmosphere does not exceed one percent of the Earth’s atmospheric density.

– Piece of Cloth – This Martian event will be no less important than the achievement that represented the first engine flight on Earth in 1903. NASA reported that a small piece of cloth from the Wright Brothers plane took off more than a century ago. A tribute to the first ground flight, and as such it is now on Mars.

This first sorting should be expected to be very simple, as the helicopter will take off vertically, then it will rise to a height of three meters and hover at this level for 30 seconds and then turn on itself before landing again.

The helicopter would receive its instructions from Earth a few hours earlier, but it would analyze its own position relative to the surface of Mars during its launch, by taking 30 images per second.

The mobile robot will be placed at a control point that will allow him to take pictures with his camera for the “Ingenuity” flight.

NASA plans to conduct up to five sorties that span a month and are barely rated.

The helicopter consists of four legs, a chassis and two propellers. It is 1.2 meters in size from one end of the blade to the other. Fans run at 2,400 rpm, five times faster than a regular raft.

The plan for this helicopter cost NASA about $ 85 million.

In the future, such vehicles will be able to play a very important role in planetary exploration thanks to their ability to reach places that roaming robots could not reach (above malls, for example).

The U.S. space agency is working on another pilot project as part of a “dragonfly” mission, which in 2026 will send a drone to Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, which will reach it in 2034.

And NASA mentioned that flight tests of engines without engines on another planet have been carried out in the past by sending weather balloons in 1985 to Venus as part of the Vega program in which the Soviet Union collaborated with other countries.




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