NASA

NASA: What will happen to NASA’s helicopter after 13 successful flights to Mars?

cosmos science Technology

Its Ingenuity Helicopter, which went to Mars with NASA’s Perseverance Rover, has completed 13 flights. His ingenuity is preparing for the 14th flight, but before that, a new challenge has come in front of him. This time the weather of Mars is going to trouble him. There is no strong wind or storm in this, but the decreasing atmospheric density can create problems. NASA itself has given this information. NASA’s Perseverance Rover team says that a season is coming on Mars when the density of air is decreasing. This will make it difficult for Ingenuity to fly.

This helicopter of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab had not had such a problem in flying so far as it is coming now. In a statement made last week, it has been said that after six months on Mars. The planet is now going into a season when the density of air in Jaziro Crater is falling very low. NASA estimates that in the coming months, the density of Mars’ air can go up to 0.012 kg per square meter. It is 1 percent of the density of the earth.

Did not test for these conditions
Perseverance had landed on Mars in February this year. The Ingenuity Helicopter went with the one who made its first flight in April. NASA also said that the change in this atmospheric density of Mars was such that it was not tested on Earth for ingenuity. According to calculations, NASA had expected five missions of Ingenuity in the first few months after the Persvirens landed on Mars.

Made only for this density
That’s why ingenuity was designed to fly only at a density of 0.0145 to 0.0185 kg per square meter. It is 1.2–1.5 percent of Earth’s density. Nevertheless, recent atmospheric pressures will affect Ingenuity’s 14th flight. This change of atmosphere will directly affect Ingenuity’s ability to fly.

This will be the problem
The thrust margin of the helicopter is at least 30 percent for minimum density. Thrust margin is the additional force that the ingenuity can exert more than it takes to fly. It is used for starting and climbing flights and flying helicopters up and down in difficult terrain conditions. In the current situation, the thrust level of ingenuity can go down to 8 percent.

One possible solution could be
NASA says that in these circumstances, the situation of aerodynamic stall can come in the engine from where it will not be able to rise. But for this, NASA has also found a solution. Ingenuity will have to move faster at low atmospheric densities. NASA says that it will test more rotor speeds in the coming missions.

Ingenuity was an experimental campaign
Significantly, this NASA helicopter is not part of the original Perseverance mission. This is an add-on part for test purposes only, which will be considered more successful than expected as it has flown 8 more flights than the scheduled five flights. It is only after its success that NASA has started taking it more seriously.

After the initial success of the Ingenuity, its advantage began to accrue to the variance of the Perseverance rover. The rover cannot navigate all types of land, so a helicopter-like Ingenuity acted as a guide for it. Now, this made it easier for Perseverance to choose its path. But now this helicopter may not be able to help the rover.