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Mars Helicopter Ingenuity: The first-ever interplanetary helicopter

Mars Helicopter Ingenuity: The first-ever interplanetary helicopter

Having a life on other planets like Mars seems such a dream but we all know, day after day we are approaching the possibilities which were once not even a concept. Recently NASA on July 30, Mars 2020 Perseverance rover lifted off on an Atlas V rocket from Florida’s Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, and NASA’s Mars helicopter (Ingenuity) is tucked beneath the rover’s belly and now Ingenuity will spend the next 6 months en route to mars.

And hopefully on 18 Feb 2021 i.e. within the next few months, rotorcraft will attempt the first-ever flight through another planet’s atmosphere and will create a history. This Mars mission is not just about exploring Mars but a step taken by humans to get closer to Mars even more.

 The car-sized rover is about 10 feet long (not including the arm), 9 feet wide, and 7 feet tall (about 3 meters long, 2.7 meters wide, and 2.2 meters tall). At 2,314 lbs. (1,050 kilograms), Perseverance weighs less than a compact car. Check out for more details

NASA and other space agencies around the world have sent landers, orbiters and rovers to the Red Planet (Mars) but no one has attempted to fly an aircraft on another planet before. And when the atmosphere is much thinner than it is on Earth, which means there’s less air to generate lift and more technical challenges in designing a craft.

“We as human beings have never flown or rotorcraft outside of our own Earth’s atmosphere, so this will actually be a very much a Wright Brothers moment, except on another planet,”

– Mimi Aung, NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter project manager said before the launch.

Ingenuity weighs about 4 lbs. (1.8 kilograms) and has two counter-rotating blades that measure about 4 feet (1.2 meters) long. Those blades should spin at a rate of about 2,400 revolutions per minute, NASA said in Ingenuity’s mission description. To test the helicopter, NASA simulated the Martian atmosphere in a testing chamber at the agency’s Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, California.

No doubt Ingenuity is only an experimental mission, its primary objective is to test powered flight on Mars — a successful flight could shape the future of exploration on Mars.

Just like it’s name INGENUITY, this project is full of skills and innovations. Wish to see it’s first flight soon. Godspeed.

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About The Author

Aanchal Sharma

PG student at IIRS,ISRO Dehradun | Space Enthusiast | Engineer | Writer | Sci-fi fan

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