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Sat Aug 31, 2019, 01:06 AM

Mars 2020 Rover Gets its Helicopter Sidekick


Work on the Mars 2020 Rover is heating up as the July/August 2020 launch date approaches. Mission engineers just attached the Mars Helicopter to the belly of the rover, where it will make the journey to Mars. Both the solar-powered helicopter and the Mars Helicopter Delivery System are now attached to the rover.

NASAís Mars Helicopter will be the first aircraft to fly on another planet. The small rotor-craft only weighs 1.8 kg (4 lbs.) and is made of lightweight materials like carbon fiber and aluminum. Itís largely a technology demonstration mission, and is important to NASA. The overall mission for the Mars 2020 rover wonít depend on the helicopter, but NASA hopes to learn a lot about how to proceed with aircraft on future missions by putting the Mars helicopter through its paces on Mars.

NASA is no hurry to deploy the helicopter once the rover lands on Mars in February 2021. The helicopter and the delivery system will ride with the rover after it lands at Jezero Crater. Once they find a suitable place for test flights, the helicopter will be deployed.

NASA says that the Mars Helicopter is a high risk technology mission. If it works, and is able to fly as planned, then it will also be a high reward mission. The results will tell NASA a lot about using helicopters, and the generation of helicopters after this one will hopefully add an aerial component to future rover missions. This would open up a lot of scientific and exploration options in the future.


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Reply Mars 2020 Rover Gets its Helicopter Sidekick (Original post)
Judi Lynn Aug 2019 OP
lastlib Aug 2019 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2019, 08:16 AM

1. Very cool!

looking forward to following this mission!

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