Click here to sign in with It might sound like an impossible task, but that's exactly the challenge that the team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory faced in 2013 when they set about answering a question that had been tossed around NASA for decades: Can we fly a spacecraft on Mars? and Terms of Use. The two are only one week into … The small drone helicopter is planned for deployment in 2021 from the Perseverance rover as part of the NASA Mars 2020 mission. or. For Mars helicopters and other rotorcraft in general, see, Missions are ordered by launch date. Be respectful, keep it civil and stay on topic. Mars Helicopter Ingenuity[5][6] is a robotic helicopter that is planned to be used to test the technology to scout interesting targets on Mars, and help plan the best driving route for future Mars rovers. [28] The United States federal budget announced in March 2018, provided US$23 million for the helicopter for one year[29][30] and it was announced on 11 May 2018 that the helicopter could be developed and tested in time to be included in the Mars 2020 mission. From the lab to your inbox. Well, you're going to have to design that process from scratch as well. Neither your address nor the recipient's address will be used for any other purpose. Get the latest science stories from CNET every week. Or search for Making Space: The Female Frontier in Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen. The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter can be seen between the left and center wheels of the Mars 2020 Perseverance rover. Your opinions are important to us. Discussion threads can be closed at any time at our discretion. [12], The helicopter is planned to travel to Mars attached to the underside of the Perseverance rover and to be deployed to the surface between 60 and 90 Martian days (sols) after the landing. The inconsistent Mars magnetic field precludes the use of a compass for navigation, so it is planned to use a solar tracker camera integrated to JPL's visual inertial navigation system. These potential aircraft could have direct communication to an orbiter and may or may not continue to work with a landed asset. Watching the entire thing from back here on Earth will be MiMi Aung, a 30-year veteran of JPL and the project leader for the Ingenuity helicopter mission. How does the observable universe have meaning? © CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. If it succeeds, Ingenuity will prove that powered, controlled flight by an aircraft can be achieved at Mars, enabling future Mars missions to potentially add an aerial dimension to their explorations with second-generation rotorcraft. Medical Xpress covers all medical research advances and health news, Tech Xplore covers the latest engineering, electronics and technology advances, Science X Network offers the most comprehensive sci-tech news coverage on the web. Yes, NASA Is Actually Sending a Helicopter to Mars: Here's What It Will Do. Thank you for taking your time to send in your valued opinion to Science X editors. It also includes radiation-resistant systems capable of operating in the frigid environment of Mars. [33] Its mass is just under 1.8 kilograms (4.0 lb)[32] and JPL has specified that it planned to have a design life of 5 flights on Mars. Adding that dimension was what drove me.". NASA Wants to Try", "NASA is sending a helicopter to Mars to get a bird's-eye view of the planet - The Mars Helicopter is happening", Review on space robotics: Toward top-level science through space exploration, Heading Estimation via Sun Sensing for Autonomous Navigation, "NASA's Mars Helicopter: Small, Autonomous Rotorcraft To Fly On Red Planet", "Mars Helicopter a new challenge for flight", "Mars 2020 Perseverance Launch Press Kit", Design and Fabrication of the Mars Helicopter Rotor, Airframe, and Landing Gear Systems, "Four wild technologies lawmakers want NASA to pursue", "Drones on Mars?