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Ingenuity helicopter on Mars |  “A very wonderful trip!  "

Ingenuity helicopter on Mars | “A very wonderful trip! “

NASA successfully tested its plane on Monday cleverness On Mars. The flight took 39 seconds, at a maximum height of 3 meters, but it will revolutionize exploration of the Red Planet. “A very wonderful trip! “” Said Mi Aung, director of programs.

Matteo PerraultMatteo Perrault

Five tests

The 1.8 kg helicopter flew overhead on Monday. This first test is sufficient to consider the creativity program a success. For the next two tests, the next scheduled for Thursday, the height will reach 5 meters cleverness It will move up to 50 meters from its current location. This is where the rover is located Determination I dropped it after landing in February. Determination Filmed stealingcleverness The two are at a distance of 70 meters. If the first three trips go well, there will be two more, which can include a specific route in real time. cleverness, And landing in locations other than the current location. “We really want to know the limits of technology,” said Mi Mi Ong, program director, at a news conference on Monday. The Burma-born engineer said the target was a 600-meter flight for the fifth test. There will be no sixth, because Determination He is scheduled to leave in two weeks for his mission to explore the Red Planet, and that teamcleverness Not large enough to support the helicopter if it is tracking it Determination.


This first test was supposed to be done a week ago, but the last ground test forcleverness It revealed computer problems. This was a test of Duarte’s velocitycleverness, Where the required take-off speed must be reached. That didn’t happen and it took several days for the NASA team to fix the problem.

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After a third

“Teamcleverness “It gave us a third dimension,” said Mike Watkins, director of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, during the press conference. They freed us from the surface forever in planetary exploration. We will be able to conduct scientific experiments and identify places that are inaccessible to rovers (Rovers). »

Photo provided by NASA

Memberscleverness NASA celebrates the maiden flight of the helicopter in Pasadena, California.

The Wright Brothers

MI Ong said it was “The Wright Brothers’ moment.” “Each planet has only one chance to get its first motorized flight.” The site where cleverness The currently standing is named in honor of the Wright brothers who, in 1903, made the first powered flight on Earth in North Carolina. A cloth for the wings of the Wright brothers’ plane is placed under the solar panelscleverness.

Mars atmosphere

Gravity on Mars is three times less than on Earth. Its atmosphere is 100 times less dense and is made up of 96% carbon dioxide2The air we breathe contains 78% nitrogen and 21% oxygen. This complicated the designclevernessEspecially because the sound barrier depends on these factors. However, the propeller blades do not perform well with acoustic disturbance.

Helicopters of Mars in the cinema

Hollywood has already anticipated that helicopters will help explore Mars. In the movie Red planet Launched in 2000, with Val Kilmer, a quadrupedal unmanned aircraft was equipped with a reconnaissance helicopter. This drone had finally had a bug that made it fatal.