a NASA It has released test images of its new robotic helicopter planned to fly on Mars. The goal of the prototype, called the Mars Science Helicopter, is to go beyond cleverness, The helicopter that became the first spacecraft to make a powered and controlled flight on another planet, and has since flown there 66 times.
“We spin our propellers at up to 3,500 rpm, which is 750 rpm faster than Ingenuity’s propellers,” Tyler Del Sesto, a NASA robotics engineer, said in a statement. “These more efficient blades are now more than just a virtual exercise. They are ready to fly,” he added.
In the footage shared by the agency, it is possible to see engineers testing the fans. The blades rotate so fast that the prototype almost reached the speed of sound – the speed faster than sound.
“The challenge is that when the blades approach hypersonic speeds, the turbulence that causes the vibrations can quickly get out of control,” NASA explained.
Future Mars helicopters will be larger and more powerful than Ingenuity, and will allow NASA to survey inaccessible locations on the planet. “The six-engined Mars Science helicopter could be used during future missions to Mars to serve as aerial reconnaissance, as well as carrying between 2kg and 5kg of payload, including science instruments, to study terrain inaccessible to rovers.” The agency said.
According to scientists, this effort is ambitious, and focuses on finding convincing signs of life on the red planet.
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