This week, NASA launches its latest Mars rover, Perseverance. This robot comes with a small stowaway on board- a small box-shaped helicopter. As per the plans, if the helicopter will manage to hover all around the Martian Terrain, it will be the first time that a human-made helicopter has flown to another world successfully. With this, the researchers and scientists say that it can open a gateway to exploring the Solar System with minor details in the future.
The helicopter has been named as Ingenuity which will not be the major focus of the rover. Instead, the major goal is to look for different signs of life on planet Mars and dig in more to find out samples of dirt.
On this, the Project Manager for Mars Helicopter appointed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, MiMi Aung, said- “Really flying ahead and then getting high definition images to inform humans and rovers for traverses will really advance the exploration of the world,” Source: The Verge.
He continued- “Being able to fly will add an entirely new dimension to exploration.” Source: The Verge.
During an interview with The Verge, the Chief Engineer for the Mars Helicopter at JPL, Bob Balaram said- “You can’t keep going faster and faster, because what then happens is that the tips of your blades start approaching Mach one,” Source: The Verge.
Further, Balaram stated- “They start wanting to go supersonic, and you don’t want to even let them go transonic because you get much more turbulent effects. That was a bit of a discovery for us when we did the first flights,” Source: The Verge.
Also, he said that the flapping could disturb the helicopter’s operations and controls, so the team of engineers made extra-stiff blades.
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