The project of flight demonstration of the Mars helicopter of NASA has passed many important tests successfully. The small helicopter in 2021 will be the first in history to try to establish the ability of vehicles that are heavier than air to fly successfully on other planet.
The project manager of the Mars Helicopter of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at NASA in California, Mimi Aung, said that never before has anybody constructed a Mars Helicopter and with this we are entering a new territory. She said that their flight model has passed any tests recently.
The team had in January 2019 operated the model in a man-made Martian environment. The helicopter then was shifted to Denver in the Lockheed Martin Space for testing its compatibility with the delivery system of the Mars Helicopter that would hold the spacecraft weighing 1.8-kilogram against 2020 Mars rover’s belly during its interplanetary cruise and launch, before positioning it to Mars surface after its landing.
The Mars Helicopter doesn’t carry any science instruments. The helicopter’s purpose is to establish that the powered flight in Martian atmosphere is possible and it could be controlled from the Earth.
However, the helicopter carries with it a camera that is capable of providing good quality color images for demonstrating the potential of the vehicle for documenting Mars.
Future missions of Mars could enlist the second-generation helicopters for adding to the explorations an aerial dimension. They could examine those destinations that are unvisited or are tough to reach like caves, cliffs, deep craters, and act as drivers for the human crews or help to carry payloads from one place to other. But before this happens, the test vehicle needs to prove whether this is possible.
The Mars Helicopter and the delivery system were examined in Denver for making sure that the electrical mechanisms and connections that associated the vehicle with cradle fit comfortably.