While NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter continues to break records for both airspeed and altitude while it explores Jezero Crater on the Red Planet, NASA engineers back on Earth are hard at work testing carbon fiber blades for next-generation Mars helicopters that could exceed the performance of Ingenuity on future missions to Mars, specifically with the planned Mars Sample Return mission that NASA hopes to accomplish sometime in the 2030s.Continue reading “NASA Tests its Next-Generation Mars Helicopter Blades”
When NASA’s new Perseverance Martian rover launches in a little over a month it will have a small robotic stow-away on board. Ingenuity is a small helicopter, with a fuselage about the size of a softball and two extending rotors that measure about 4 feet across. It was attached to the bottom of the rover’s chassis in April, and NASA recently released details about it’s technically challenging release process.
Before the team of NASA and Lockheed Martin engineers started designing the release mechanism though, they had to decide what Ingenuity’s mission would actually be. Ultimately, the helicopter will serve as the first powered experimental test flight on any extraterrestrial body. NASA is hoping it will be the first of many, leading to future helicopters on Mars that could allow mission scientists to peer into previously inaccessible places, such as craters and cliffs, from the air. If Ingenuity is successful, it could pave the way to many future air based scientific and scouting missions.Continue reading “Here’s How Perseverance’s Helicopter Sidekick Will Deploy on Mars”