NASA performs final tests on Mars helicopter ahead of 2020 launch

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NASA is performing final tests on a helicopter which it plans to send to Mars to explore the Red Planet.


The chopper, which is due to be launched in 2020 and will fly about Mars' Jezero Crater, underwent a series of drills simulating the mission in California.

They included a high-vibration environment to mimic how it will hold up under the launch and landing conditions, and extreme temperature swings such as those experienced on Mars.


The autonomous test helicopter weighs around 4lbs (1.8kg) and will have an on-board camera and will be powered by a solar panel, but will not contain any scientific instruments.

NASA aims to develop the drone as a prototype to see if it could be worth attaching scientific sensors to similar devices in future.

Although the mission is not set to land on the Red Planet until the early afternoon of 18 February 2021, there will not be much time for deliberation when it is heading towards the martian surface.

The rover, which has a mass of 1,050kg (2,313lbs), could easily simply add to the craters on the planet's surface.

Source : sky news
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