NASA rover with a helicopter ready for flight (3 photos)

In less than fourteen weeks from the Cosmodrome. Kennedy in Florida can launch the spacecraft Mars 2020 Perseverance. The flight is scheduled to begin between July 17 and August 5.

In the past few days, a group of engineers has beenbusy preparing the Perseverance rover for a planned mission to Mars. The NASA technical service checked the readiness of the nodes and mechanisms, refueled the descent stage and installed a Mars helicopter on the rover, which is mounted on the bottom of the device. The helicopter will be the first flying object to fly over the surface of another planet.

Last year’s testing showed abilityhelicopter to fly in a Martian atmosphere. On the space simulator JPL inside of which the atmosphere and gravity of Mars were simulated, the helicopter proved its technical capabilities for flying over the surface of the Red Planet. During the tests, a small helicopter was raised to a height of 5 cm, which made it possible to check the operability of all systems of the device.

The mass of the helicopter is only 1.8 kg, and in motion itdriven by two coaxial screws, the diameter of which is 1.2 meters. The helicopter receives electric power for the first flight from the rover, and subsequently generates its own energy with the help of a solar battery located above the screws rotating in different directions.

It is known that regardless of the start from Earth,Perseverence’s landing on Mars will take place on February 18, 2021. The first launch of the helicopter will take place 2.5 months after the landing of the Perseverence rover in the area of ​​the Jesero crater. Tentatively this event will take place in May next year. To launch, the Perseverence rover will leave the helicopter unloaded to Mars at a safe distance of about 100 meters. Flight tests last for 30 days.

Source: NASA