The 2020 Mars Rover Will Have A Helicopter!

Jan 2016
55,960
52,511
Colorado
#1
Very Cool! The 2020 Mars Rover will have a helicopter! It will be the first heavier-than-air craft to fly on another celestial body:

https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.php?feature=7121

This is not easy in an atmosphere as thin as the Martian atmosphere. The copter has to be both very light and very powerful. When they get around to doing something similar on Saturn's moon Titan, it will be very EASY in comparison. Titan's atmosphere is actually denser than Earth's. Piece of cake in comparison!

Can't wait for this Martian helicopter, though!
 
Likes: 1 person
Feb 2010
29,450
31,713
Sunny Bournemouth, Dorset
#2
It's going to be spinning faster than Trump supporters! Mars atmosphere is only 1% the density of Earths, so an ordinary helicopter blade would be like using a boat propeller.
 
Jan 2016
55,960
52,511
Colorado
#3
It's going to be spinning faster than Trump supporters! Mars atmosphere is only 1% the density of Earths, so an ordinary helicopter blade would be like using a boat propeller.
Yeah, the link mentions that "Its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter-rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at almost 3,000 rpm -- about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth."

There was a movie Red Planet released back in 2000, starring Val Kilmer, that had kind of a flying copter/robot on Mars, that turns deadly. Decent but certainly not great sci-fi movie.
 
Likes: 1 person
Jul 2014
38,922
33,911
Border Fence
#4
It will be the first heavier-than-air craft to fly on another celestial body:

That is not correct. The Lunar Module 5 was the first heavier than air craft to fly over a non-earth body.

Apollo 5 (AS-204) mission launched on 22 January 1968.


 
Jan 2016
55,960
52,511
Colorado
#6
That is not correct. The Lunar Module 5 was the first heavier than air craft to fly over a non-earth body.

Apollo 5 (AS-204) mission launched on 22 January 1968.


The Moon does not really have an atmosphere to speak of. We are talking about atmospheric flight.
 

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