Mars 2020 is NASA’s next mission conducted for research on the Red Planet. The rover that the company has created for this research is called Perseverance. The researchers are currently performing the lasts tests on the spacecraft. Perseverance is now being tested for its flying capabilities and this might be the last time for the robot to fly on Earth, next stop being Mars.
The Mars helicopter might be the core of future expeditions on the red planet, even though the Mars 2020 was not designed by NASA. The aircraft features an ultra-light design that will most likely help it flying in the planet’s low gravity atmosphere. Perseverance is a technology demonstration but does not perform the whole mission by itself.
The helicopter was last tested one year ago and unfortunately, it was a total disappointment. The machine did not succeed in lifting off the Martian simulated atmosphere . in addition to this, the tests must be done with extensive attention because the Earth’s standard atmosphere might damage the spacecraft.
The Mars 2020 Mission
The thin atmosphere of the red planet implies that the helicopter needs a very high rotation rate to be able to lift from the ground. Even though the robot’s weight is not more than four pounds, the natural conditions of Mars imply extensive efforts for this mission to succeed.
The test was delivered at a 50 RPM in a simulated environment, which was less than the speed the helicopter should have on Mars. The device was specially designed with a maximum speed of 2800 RPM, but researchers say that given the Mars atmosphere, the aircraft should be able to lift at only 1900 RPM.
The spacecraft is scheduled to reach Mars’ territory in 2021 and is most likely to go as planned despite the coronavirus pandemic. At the moment, the developing team is working from home on this experiment because if they do not manage to send the spacecraft as scheduled, NASA will be forced to wait another two years for the planets to be aligned again.