Unusual: NASA is testing exploration helicopters on two different planets! – Tameteo.com

ingenuityIngenuity is an exploration helicopter that made its first flight on Mars more than two years ago. Tristan Bergen Tristan Bergen 11/26/2023 07:00 7 mins

NASA has made particularly great progress in space exploration in recent years. For the planet Mars, for example, several rovers are also used a remote-controlled helicopter (Ingenuity) that made its first flight on the Red Planet on April 21, 2021.

Tests on two different planets: a first!

The Ingenuity helicopter continues its mission on the Red Planet with regular flights, allowing scientists to perfect their mastery of this Earth-controlled flying machine. However, vsOriginally it was planned that the aircraft would only make five flightsmainly for check Technology straight to Mars.

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But Ingenuity has proven to be much more resilient than the scientists responsible for the Mars mission initially expected. In fact, the 5-flight limit is now only a distant memory This year there were more than 50 flightsand at the same time broke numerous speed and altitude records.

Nevertheless, the future generation of ground-side exploration helicopters is already being prepared. Engineers are currently testing one at NASA’s Jet Propulsio Laboratory in California new rotor system for future Martian helicopterswhich means, that This type of technology will therefore be tested for the first time on two different planets, a first!

This new type of rotor features revolutionary blades Carbon fiberwhich prevents them from vibrating too much due to air turbulence This limits the risk of breakage. These new blades are longer and therefore more durable than Ingenuity’s, allowing them to survive They reach almost supersonic speeds and reach up to 3,500 revolutions per minutewhich in turn is significantly faster than that of the helicopter that is already on a mission to Mars.

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In order for the tests to take place under optimal conditions and as close to the Martian atmosphere as possible, NASA scientists use a special installation called the “25-foot space simulator.” This immense space allowsMimic conditions in the atmosphere of the Red Planet and therefore of To effectively test this new generation of helicopters, which will also be sent to Mars in the coming years.

Ingenuity continues its mission

While Ingenuity waits for these new helicopters to fly over the surface of Mars, it is effectively continuing its exploration mission by flying at higher altitudes and at higher speeds than ever before. Today, In particular, these repeated flights provide valuable data on how helicopters can be used on Mars.

For example, flying faster allows you to cover more ground, but so does speed disrupt Ingenuity’s navigation system, which uses a camera to track features of the surface over which it flies. To solve this problem, the scientists responsible for the observation robot flew to it greater heightsa solution that will be used for the next generation of helicopters being prepared on Earth.

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Ingenuity’s repeated flights provide important information for the development of new helicopters from Earth. This may actually happen in the future cover a much larger area, achieve much higher speeds and especially Areas that rovers cannot reach todaywhich allows us to perfect our knowledge of the Red Planet.

Speaking of which, NASA is planning even more ambitious flights for Ingenuity in the coming months, testing it in different ways and pushing it forward to its limits to collect as much information as possible. However, the risks taken are given great consideration A crash or technical problem caused by these future flights would result in the end of the missionIngenuity cannot be repaired on site.

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In summary, the tests conducted on Mars and on Earth for these different exploration helicopters a significant advance in space exploration. These open up new possibilities for exploring the Red Planet (or even other planets in the future) that we never thought possible and are likely to open up to us important discoveries in the more or less near future.


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