On July 20, the Space Agency will fly to the ‘red planet’ with a special helicopter
NASA will send (on July 20) an experimental helicopter to fly through the rarefied atmosphere of Mars. A feat never accomplished before.
Take-off will be complex: on the surface of Mars the atmosphere is only 1/100 denser than the Earth’s, but gravity is equal to 1/3 of ours.
This means that getting up in flight on the Red Planet is equivalent to doing it from an altitude of 100,000 feet on Earth. No existing helicopter has ever gone so high.
To facilitate ascension, the rotor of the Mars Helicopter will turn much faster. And it will go to solar energy. It can operate for up to 90 seconds a day at hundreds of meters high, with a total autonomy of about a month.
If it works, the small helicopter, called Ingenuity, will open a new path for future exploratory robots who will be able to collect geological and meteorological data on Mars and also other worlds of the solar system.