Will it work? May the first helicopter flight on Mars on Sunday

Versatility: This is the name of the helicopter that should take off on Mars. Although helicopter might be a big word, says science journalist Adrian ter Braque. “It’s a very small thing, an aluminum box with legs and blades and a solar panel. Much like a drone. But it has a lot of proprietary technology.”

2 kg

The dexterity has a height of just under a meter and weighs about 2 kilograms. It has been on the surface of Mars since mid-February, arriving in Perseverance Fist at Jizero Crater.

There are three challenges to the device: low air pressure on the planet, battery charging (which should be done using solar energy when it is scarce on Mars) and low temperatures – the temperature on Mars reaches 90 degrees at night. Subzero – to which the parts are exposed.

In this animation of creativity and perseverance, you see how creativity must finally fly:

During the first flight, the creativity should rise to a height of approximately 10 meters in 3 seconds, hover for 30 seconds and then land in the same place in a controlled manner. To achieve this, the rotors must rotate 42 times per second.

Five trips

If that works, the creativity will likely fly about five times in the coming weeks, each time a few hundred meters. It is expected to last for about a month.

“These test flights do not directly teach us anything about Mars, other than that helicopter flights are possible in the atmosphere,” Ter Braque says. “It does not collect data on Mars.” However, it is important that everything runs smoothly. “Then perhaps a helicopter could be sent on the next mission, which, for example, could better map the surface of Mars.”

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