Read the Beforeitsnews.com story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By Universe Today (Reporter)
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Now:
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:
Total:

NASA Tests its Next-Generation Mars Helicopter Blades

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.


While NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter continues to break records for both airspeed and altitude while it explores Jezero Crater on the Red Planet, NASA engineers back on Earth are hard at work testing carbon fiber blades for next-generation Mars helicopters that could exceed the performance of Ingenuity on future missions to Mars, specifically with the planned Mars Sample Return mission that NASA hopes to accomplish sometime in the 2030s.


“Our next-generation Mars helicopter testing has literally had the best of both worlds,” Teddy Tzanetos, who is the project manager for Ingenuity and manager for the Mars Sample Recovery Helicopters, said in an official NASA statement. “Here on Earth, you have all the instrumentation and hands-on immediacy you could hope for while testing new aircraft components. On Mars, you have the real off-world conditions you could never truly re-create here on Earth.”

These off-world conditions on Mars include surface atmospheric pressure and surface gravity that is less than one percent and one-third of Earth’s surface, respectively. It is because of this significantly reduced surface pressure that Ingenuity’s rotations per minute (rpm) are between 2,400 to 2,900 rpm to achieve flight on the Red Planet. This is significantly higher than on Earth, as helicopters typically only need 500 to 600 rpm to achieve flight.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter incorporates four carbon fiber blades organized into two counter-rotating rotors, meaning that rotate opposite to each other, spanning 1.2-meters (4-feet) across with the aforementioned rotating speed of between 2,400 to 2,900 rpm (rotations per minute). Additionally, Ingenuity also weighs in at approximately 1.8 kilograms (4 pounds) on Earth, but with Mars having approximately one-third the gravity Ingenuity weighs only 0.68 kilograms (1.5 pounds) on the surface of the Red Planet.

April 2021 video discussing the design and development of Ingenuity.

For the next-generation Mars helicopters, NASA engineers at Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena are constructing blades that are slightly more than 10 centimeters (4 inches) longer than Ingenuity’s blades, along with exhibiting a separate design and increased strength, as well.

“We spun our blades up to 3,500 rpm, which is 750 revolutions per minute faster than the Ingenuity blades have gone,” Tyler Del Sesto, who is the Sample Recovery Helicopter deputy test conductor at JPL, said in an official NASA statement. “These more efficient blades are now more than a hypothetical exercise. They are ready to fly.”

One goal of these next-generation Mars helicopters could be on the joint NASA-ESA Mars Sample Return mission slated to occur sometime in the 2030s. This mission will encompass three parts: sample collection, sample retrieval, and a return mission. It is the sample retrieval mission that will involve the most equipment, including two Ingenuity-class helicopters tasked with collecting samples with a robotic arm that are currently being placed on the surface of Mars in Jezero Crater by NASA’s Perseverance rover.

These sample retrieval helicopters will vary in design from Ingenuity in that they are planned to have a set of four wheels used to drive to the sample upon landing a few meters from them. Upon retrieval, the helicopters will fly to the Sample Retrieval Lander (SRL), which will then load the samples into the Mars Ascent Vehicle (MAV), which will launch the samples to low Martian orbit where they will return to Earth for analysis. Currently, Perseverance has collected a total of 23 samples with the goal of collecting 38 samples in the end.


Artist illustration of the various components that will comprise the Mars Sample Return mission, which is slated for the 2030s. These components include NASA’s Perseverance rover (lower left, and currently on Mars), Sample Retrieval Lander (far right), two Ingenuity-class helicopters, Mars Ascent Vehicle, and the Earth Return Orbiter. (Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

As noted, Ingenuity continues to break records for both altitude and speed as it has completed a total of 66 flights as of this writing, which far exceeds the original plan of five flights over the course of a 30-day mission that began on April 19, 2021. Thus far, Ingenuity has achieved a maximum horizontal distance of 704 meters (2,309.71 feet), which it achieved on its 25th flight on April 3, 2022, and a maximum altitude of 24 meters (78.7 feet), which it achieved on its 61st flight on October 5, 2023.

How will these next-generation Mars helicopters help improve the science and engineering performed on the Red Planet in the coming years and decades? Only time will tell, and this is why we science!

As always, keep doing science & keep looking up!

The post NASA Tests its Next-Generation Mars Helicopter Blades appeared first on Universe Today.


Source: https://www.universetoday.com/164459/nasa-tests-its-next-generation-mars-helicopter-blades/


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!


Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at https://mitocopper.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomic.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at https://www.herbanomics.com M - F 9am to 5pm EST


Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse

    Comments

    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Total 1 comment
    • kilroy

      What did nasa tell you about mars. Has a very thin atmosphere. Helicopter blades will not work in a thin atmosphere. Science tells us this much. Ask any aerospace engineer. Stop believing the bullshit. They have helicopters on mars but can’t get back to the moon. Huh?

    MOST RECENT
    Load more ...

    SignUp

    Login

    Newsletter

    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.