With the launch scheduled for the month of July, the Mars Helicopter has successfully passed the last tests of its rotor blades.
Deployed from NASA’s Perseverance rover, the Mars Helicopter will bethe first aircraft to fly on an extraterrestrial planet . On March 5, 2020, NASA announced Perseverance as the new name for the Mars 2020 rover.
50 revolutions per minute
The Mars Helicopter has a double rotor powered by solar energy that will remain encapsulated after landing. Its mass is just under 1.8 kg
It will carry out up to a maximum of five flights, each of them will last approximately 3 minutes , reaching heights ranging between 3 and 10 meters above the ground, being able to cover distances of approximately 300 meters per flight. It will be fully autonomous and will communicate with the Perseverance rover directly after each landing.
Its payload consists of a high-resolution camera with the objective pointing downwards to inspect the ground and thus detect where it is moving and be able to land safely later, it also carries a communication system to transmit data to the Perserverance rover.
The booth in the airlock at the NASA Kennedy Space Center facility, where the final mission checks are made, is where the functional test of the blades took place, which were rotated at 50 revolutions per minute .
Perseverance will land on the Red Planet on February 18, 2021. Liftoff aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V 541 rocket is scheduled for mid-July from Cape Canaveral . Among other objectives, its purpose is to search for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, and collect samples for the future return to Earth.