(Source : unmannedsystemstechnology.com – Mike Ball) – Unmanned Helicopter Integrated into Mars Perseverance Rover

As part of the final preparations leading up to the launch of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, NASA has completed the attachment of the unmanned Mars Helicopter, which will be the first aircraft in history to attempt power-controlled flight on another planet.

The helicopter, which weighs 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms) with propellers 4 feet (1.2 meters) in diameter, is encapsulated within a delivery system, which was attached to the rover after the successful confirmation that data and commands could be sent and received. The helicopter will be deployed roughly two-and-a-half months after Perseverance’s landing on the surface of Mars, executing a flight-test campaign of up to 30 days during which it will generate its own electrical power through a solar panel located above its twin counter-rotating propellers.

The Perseverance rover is a robotic science platform weighing 2,260 pounds (1,025 kilograms), designed to search Mars for signs of past microbial life, characterize the planet’s climate and geology, collect samples for future return to Earth and pave the way for human exploration. It is scheduled to land on Mars’ Jezero Crater on Feb. 18, 2021. (…)

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