NASA is about to land its first helicopter ‘Ingenuity’ on Mars.
US space organisation NASA is about to land a helicopter on the planet Mars on Thursday for the first time.
The small Ingenuity helicopter will have several challenges to overcome.
The biggest being the rarefied Martian atmosphere, which is just one per cent the density of Earth’s.
It may be call a helicopter but it’s looks like a mini-drone that weighs nearly 1.8 kilograms.
Ingenuity has blades that are much larger than usual and therefore can spin nearly five times faster than the same speed required to generate the lift on Earth.
Ingenuity has four legs, a box-like body, and four carbon-fibre blades arranged in two rotors spinning in opposite directions enabling it to spin nearly five times faster than the same speed required to generate the lift on Earth 2400 revolutions per minute.
It is equip with two cameras, computers, and navigation sensors.
Ingenuity uses solar cells to recharge its batteries, much of the energy being use for staying warm on cold Martian nights,
Where temperatures fall to minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 90 degrees Celsius).
Ingenuity will fly at altitudes of 10-15 feet (3-5 meters) and travel as far as 160 feet (50 meters) from its starting area and back.
It is design to fly automatically, and will not be operate by joysticks due to its distance from the earth.
Its onboard computers will work with its sensors and cameras to keep it on a path programmed by its engineers.
What’s the Purpose of Ingenuity?
The US space agency has described this mission as a ‘Technology demonstration’ a project that seeks to test a new capability together with the astrobiology mission of Perseverance.
Bob Balaram, Ingenuity’s Chief Engineer Said :
If the mission is successful, it “basically opens up a whole new dimension of exploring Mars,”
SOURCE : DNA