NASA Perseverance Rover To Carry Mars Helicopter To Explore Martian Atmosphere


NASA is gearing up to send the Perseverance rover to the Red Planet as part of the Mars 2020 mission. The Perseverance rover is one of the most advanced equipment to head into space to explore Mars. As NASA is speeding up with the installations on the rover, the space agency noted that Perseverance would also be carrying a helicopter.

Why Is NASA Sending A Helicopter To Mars?

A blog post by NASA notes that the Jet Propulsion Laboratory has reached a critical step in the final assembly of the rover by installing the Mars Helicopter. It looks like the Mars Helicopter is one of the most interesting aspects of the Mars 2020 mission. If succeeded, it would mark the first time man controlling a flight on a planet apart from Earth.

It should also be noted that the NASA Mars Helicopter won't be hitting the Martian skies as soon as it lands. It is integrated into a delivery system strapped to the rover's belly and will likely have a three-month waiting period. The blog post further explains that the Perseverance rover will drive around 330 feet before the helicopter can liftoff.

"Before being deployed onto the surface of Jezero Crater, the Mars Helicopter will rely on the rover for power. Afterward, it will generate its own electrical power through a solar panel located above its twin counter-rotating propellers," the blog post explains.

Why Is NASA Sending A Helicopter To Mars?

The images released by NASA show that the Mars Helicopter is quite small and weighs just four pounds. It is equipped with a four-foot propeller system to give it a lift. The Mars Helicopter has roughly a month to show its capabilities, but NASA says its expectations are limited.

The purpose of the Mars Helicopter isn't to collect samples or analyze them. Instead, the helicopter will simply demonstrate what might be possible when it comes to flying in the thin atmosphere of the Red Planet. The result of its flight will determine the future missions and could help NASA with a more advanced helicopter to explore Mars.

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