NASA launches a drone on another planet for the first time | Science

NASA launches a drone on another planet for the first time |  Science

The drone cleverness NASA has become the first artifact of its kind to fly over the surface of another planet. Today, the expedition team celebrated shouts and applause on the first successful flight of this device weighing less than two kilograms and being propelled by a fan specifically designed to be able to operate in thin Mars air, 99% less dense than that on Earth.

cleverness “I have achieved the first self-propelled flight on another planet,” said pilot Harvard Grib of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Control Center in Pasadena, California, as shared by the Space Administration on his Twitter account. The scheduled flight was to take 40 seconds and reach a height of three meters above the surface, which NASA confirms does.

This small unmanned aircraft is part of the largest Mars exploration mission ever launched in which the Earth vehicle is the flagship Determination, The largest and most advanced to have walked on Mars. The Determination And your passenger cleverness They landed successfully on February 18th.

The cleverness It is a proof of concept for future missions to Mars and other planets. They were trying to figure out if it was possible to fly with an engine on another planet, which is a huge challenge. “The Martian atmosphere is the most difficult thing we know for flying,” explains Jorge Pla-García, a scientist at the Center for Astrobiology in Madrid and a member of the expedition. “To be able to stay in the air, you need gigantic blades. Those from cleverness It is 1.2 meters in diameter and rotates very quickly at 2,400 revolutions per minute. ”You also have to weigh very little and this is where Mars’s gravity works in its favor, given that it accounts for a third of the weight of Earth, with the helicopter just over 600 grams, says Bla Garcia.

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These autonomous vehicles could be the solution to increasing the visibility of robotic missions and reaching the most rugged and complex places on the planet that could not otherwise be visited. In the future, such drones could be important support for manned missions. Another goal of the mission is to specifically clear the way for the astronauts who will arrive within a few years.

The cleverness It has four more flights scheduled for the next 31 days. First, it will perform two vertical displacement operations, one of which reaches a height of five meters and then reaches 50. In the next two days, it will start to move horizontally up to a maximum of half a kilometer and will land elsewhere outside the brand new. Airport: An area of ​​10 by 10 square meters that was launched by NASA Like Brothers Wright Airport NASA Administrator Thomas Zurbuchen today announced a tribute to aviation pioneers.

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