The NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter will land on Mars on February 18, 2021, along with side NASA‘s perseverance rover.
Once NASA successfully lands the technology. Months after the rover land on Mars, the helicopter will take-off, for the first time.
The mars helicopter weighs about 4 pounds & the main body is the size of a tissue box.
The purpose of the Mars helicopter will be to demonstrate rotorcraft flight on Mars.
This would be groundbreaking; because of the extremely thin atmosphere. The atmosphere of Mars has just around 1% of the density of the Earth's atmosphere.
According to NASA, Ingenuity will attempt five fights within 31 days on the Red Planet. In the first flight, NASA will lift the Mars helicopter 3 meters off the ground then land. If successful, they will increase the risk. Hoping to reach a minimum of 5 successful flights
To avoid the Ingenuity mars helicopters from being damaged. The helicopter will be nested sideways under the belly of the perseverance.
The rover and helicopter will be inside of a clam-like spacecraft to prevent damage from debris during the 293-mile journey to Mars.
Once the spacecraft reaches The Red Planet, the real challenge begins because only 50% of NASA’s landing on Mars have been successful. To alleviate the pressure of landing on Mars. Rovers have a supersonic parachute. The parachute allows the rover to descent slowly onto the surface of Mars.
Once the rover finds suitable ground. The rover will remove the cover, and rotate the helicopter and gently drop the helicopter onto the surface of Mars. Throughout experiments down on Earth, scientists figured, the rover will assist with communication. The Ingenuity helicopter will also take pictures.
Controlling the Helicopter
Engineers won't be able to control the helicopter in real-time with a joystick because there is a massive delay between communication on Mars to Earth.
So Ingenuity Will be somewhat independent. The helicopter has a controllable thermostat that will keep Ingenuity warm on Mars.
The helicopter will also analyze sensor data and images of terrain to ensure it stays on a safe flight path.
The Ingenuity teams goals
- Surviving the cruise to Mars and landing on Mars
- safely deploying so the surface
- keeping warm through intensive called Martian nights
- Staying charged via solar panel
- successfully communicating from helicopter to the subsystem on the rover
Why we need to fly on Mars
Number one: Mars is awesome.
Number two: If the mission is successful we could advance robotic flying technology on Mars. Flying Technology could contribute to future missions on the Red Planet.
John F. Kennedy
"We choose to go to the moon in this decade, not because that will be easy but because it will be hard."