NASA has announced they will send a helicopter to Mars, the first in history to fly on another planet than ours, along with the new rover that will launch the red planet in just two years. Its name is the “Mars Helicopter” and has been specially designed to fly in the light martian atmosphere.
The Mars Helicopter will travel to Mars next to Mars 2020, the new rover of NASA and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The helicopter has a weight of just over 1.81 kilograms and a size similar to that of a soccer ball. It has been in development since 2013 and NASA has accelerated its first mission, so it will reach our neighbor red planet in 2021.
NASA will use Mars Helicopter to explore Martian terrain from above, using one of its cameras for navigation and the other to capture images it will send to Earth.
Making the helicopter fly in an atmosphere as light as Mars has not been an easy task for JPL. Experts have designed it so that on Mars it can fly in an atmospheric density equivalent to flying at an altitude of 30,000 meters on Earth, more than double the record height reached by a helicopter on our planet, and its blades will rotate to almost 3,000. revolutions per minute, about 10 times more than on Earth.