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Waspie_Dwarf

Mars Flying Drone to Launch in 2020

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Waspie_Dwarf

NASA to decide soon whether flying drone will launch with Mars 2020 rover

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Testing of a lightweight robotic helicopter designed to fly in the alien atmosphere of Mars has produced encouraging results in recent months, and NASA officials expect to decide soon whether the aerial drone will accompany the agency’s next rover to the red planet set for liftoff in 2020.

Engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory have worked on the helicopter design for several years, modifying principles used in drones that fly in Earth’s atmosphere for the more challenging conditions at Mars. The atmospheric pressure on Mars is less than 1 percent that of Earth, and the Martian gravity field is about three-eighths as strong as it is on Earth.

arrow3.gif  Read More: Spaceflight Now

 

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UFOwatcher
Posted (edited)

Only two minutes at a time! They had better be quick. Would love to see this with a lot more time.

Edited by UFOwatcher

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Waspie_Dwarf

Mars Helicopter to Fly on NASA’s Next Red Planet Rover Mission

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NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars.

The Mars Helicopter, a small, autonomous rotorcraft, will travel with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission, currently scheduled to launch in July 2020, to demonstrate the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the Red Planet.

“NASA has a proud history of firsts,” said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. “The idea of a helicopter flying the skies of another planet is thrilling. The Mars Helicopter holds much promise for our future science, discovery, and exploration missions to Mars.”

arrow3.gif  Read More: NASA

 

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Waspie_Dwarf

 

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Sundew

Although the gravity is not as great as Earth, the atmosphere is much thinner. I wonder how that will affect a drone? I would assume at some point an atmosphere can be so thin that such a propeller driven device could not work at all. 

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Astra.
1 hour ago, Sundew said:

Although the gravity is not as great as Earth, the atmosphere is much thinner. I wonder how that will affect a drone? I would assume at some point an atmosphere can be so thin that such a propeller driven device could not work at all. 

Yeah, well I'm sure that NASA has taken all of this into consideration. Hence the 4 years of testing etc. As they have mentioned, if it doesn't work the Mars 2020 mission wont be impacted on. I'd like to wager that all will go to plan tho. 

As they say - 'nothing ventured, nothing gained' .. 

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Waspie_Dwarf
3 hours ago, Sundew said:

Although the gravity is not as great as Earth, the atmosphere is much thinner. I wonder how that will affect a drone? I would assume at some point an atmosphere can be so thin that such a propeller driven device could not work at all. 

It won't affect the drone at all, as it has been thoroughly tested at atmospheric pressures simulating those it will experience on Mars.

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Aardvark-DK

Interesting, so it will take photos of all the faces, and buildings there ? (sarcasm might be in this post..)

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EBE Hybrid

If it works, it'd be a great way to explore craters and cold traps for surface water ice, would be something really special if water ice could be found in abundance from the point of view of running a martian habitat (which would need water and fuel) plus hopefully it may also contain organic molecules indicative of life

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Sundew
On May 14, 2018 at 1:26 AM, Waspie_Dwarf said:

It won't affect the drone at all, as it has been thoroughly tested at atmospheric pressures simulating those it will experience on Mars.

Good to know. I would expect them not to overlook this "small" detail. 

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