" The idea of a helicopter flying the heavens of yet another universe is thrilling", NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine explained in a declaration. As a technology demonstration, the Mars Helicopter is considered a high-risk and a high-reward project. Solar cells will charge its lithium-ion batteries. The helicopter will certainly try to fly with the Martian air to see if cars could also rise on Mars, where the ambience is 100 times thinner compared to that of Planet. NASA in 2020 will send to Mars a small helicopter that will be based on the Mars Rover of the next generation. Now, it wants to prove that it can sustainably fly around the planet's thin atmosphere at low altitude - with a tiny helicopter.
The helicopter to Mars aims to demonstrate the viability and usefulness of such aircraft on Mars, NASA said, with potential roles as a low-flying scout or to reach locations inaccessible from the ground.
The helicopter will ride to Mars attached to the rover's belly pan, officials said. Controllers on the Earth will command the helicopter to take its first autonomous flight after its batteries are charged and tests are conducted, NASA said.
The pint-sized aircraft weighs just 1.8 kilograms, has a fuselage about the size of a softball, and twin, counter-rotating blades that will zip through the thin Martian atmosphere at almost 3000rpm - about 10 times the rate of similar craft on Earth.But its light-weight construction was a challenge, and took the development team four years to design and test.
The Mars helicopter will not be manned, but it will operate autonomously, in a way similar to a flying drone here on Earth. After the rover lands, it will place the helicopter on the ground and move away.
"We don't have a pilot and Earth will be several light minutes away, so there is no way to joystick this mission in real time", said Aung.
NASA has been working out ways to make the Helicopter as light as possible.
Mars 2020 will be launched on a United Launch Alliance (ULA) Atlas V rocket from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida and is expected to reach Mars in February 2021.
There will be a 30-day flight period consisting of five flights, each one a progression of farther flight distances. The rover is created to carry out geological reports also to ascertain the habitability of this Martian environment, NASA explained.