NASA scientists want to send to Mars helicopter drone

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Ученые NASA хотят отправить на Марс вертолет-беспилотникHe will have to move in the rarefied atmosphere of the planet, to survive in the cold and work completely offline.

In 2020, the Americans plan to send to Mars a small helicopter drone. NASA engineers expect to have time to create a prototype to test it in. If all goes well, the technology will allow to investigate a planet much further away than it is now.

Some of the developments of the flying machine is ready. For example, the helicopter will be equipped with two sets of blades with a length of about 1.2 m. They will rotate at a speed of 2400 rpm, which is about 10 times faster than earth helicopters. The fact that the atmosphere of Mars is very sparse: the pressure on its surface approximately equal to the pressure at an altitude of 30 kilometers above the Earth.

Energy for flight and the normal temperature of the apparatus during the cold Martian nights (the planet’s surface is cooled to -143 °C) will provide solar panels. In addition, the helicopter engineers plan to install the camera.

Engineers hope to test the helicopter in Martian conditions five times. Each flight will last not more than fifteen minutes.

When the helicopter will go to Mars, he will have to work offline: the whole control system must be configured so that it could fly by itself. Like any drone, the helicopter should be able to make decisions in unexpected situations.

Despite the fact that on Mars he has no risk to collide with other aircraft may occur other problems, for example, on the surface of the planet can dramatically change the atmospheric conditions. The machine must react to it, reducing energy consumption and landing.

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