September 27, 2021

Dubai Week

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NASA helicopter makes great strides on the red planet

Washington: The US space agency’s “intelligence” helicopter is on its twelfth flight, although it is scheduled to fly a maximum of five times … NASA officials are not ready to stop there.

The US space agency has extended the mission indefinitely after its success. The rover has become a helicopter companion to the rover “Perspective”, a mission to track traces of ancient life on Mars.

Josh Ravish, who is in charge of the Mechanical Engineering team at Intelligence, said, “We are performing better than expected on Mars.”

Adding Raffish Boil

Hundreds have participated in the project, although only ten are still involved. Josh Ravic joined the team five years ago.

“When I had the opportunity to work in a helicopter, I had the same reaction of many who thought it was‘ possible ’to fly to Mars,” he says.

This is a big challenge because Mars’ air is only 1% denser than Earth’s atmosphere. In comparison, it’s like flying a helicopter thirty kilometers above the ground.

The “intelligent” helicopter was forced to resist launching the missile on February 18 and landing on the Red Planet, seven months after it was integrated with the mobile robot, and then disassembled.

Another difficulty is withstanding the icy nights of Mars, thanks to the solar panels that charge its batteries during the day. Communication delays between Earth and Mars prevented it from transmitting real-time instructions, so it had to fly freely due to continuous sensors.

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On April 19, Wisdom launched its first flight, at a historic event for a motor vehicle on another planet. The mission surpassed expectations and built eleven more aircraft.

Virat “was able to take the wind stronger than we thought,” says Josh Ravic.

“During the third flight, we hit all the mechanical targets (…) and collected all the information we expected,” an employee at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory told AFP.

Since then, the helicopter has soared to an altitude of 12 meters, with its last flight lasting two minutes and 49 seconds. In total, the helicopter traveled 2.6 km.

In early May, the helicopter made its maiden voyage, landing on a carefully selected track for its first month.

Sixth plane crash: After a smooth balancing operation due to a malfunction in the pictures taken during the flight, the helicopter finally landed safely and the problem was fixed.

Detective vehicle

Since not only the built-in tool is required for proper operation, the ingenuity to take pictures with the color camera is now sent as a detector vehicle.

The goal is twofold: to ensure road safety for the mobile robot, scientifically, especially in terms of geography.

Images taken brilliantly from the “South Sita” area show that they are less important than expected, “said Ken Barley, the president’s science officer during the twelfth flight.

For more than six months on the Red Planet, the tiny 1.8kg rover has become popular with the public and its images are being sold online in mugs and T-shirts.

Adequate environment

But what is the secret of its longevity?

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Josh Ravich explains that the environment was “very good until today: temperature, wind, sun, dust in the air …”, and “it’s very cold, but things could have gotten worse.”

Theoretically, the helicopter could operate for extra time. However, winter is approaching, which will complicate matters.

But with the data intelligently collected so far, engineers are considering a possible alternative to this helicopter for next-generation helicopters on Mars.

“We expect to build helicopters weighing 20 to 30 kilograms, capable of carrying scientific equipment,” says Josh Ravich.

These future changes may be the rock models currently being diligently pulled. NASA plans to collect it during future missions in the 1930s.