Watch - Nasa performs the first helicopter flight on Mars

Hanno Labuschagne

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Watch - Nasa performs the first helicopter flight on Mars

Nasa successfully performed the first-ever powered, controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet on Monday.

The flight – which lasted for about 40 seconds – was carried out by the ultralight solar-powered helicopter Ingenuity on Mars.

Prior to its flight, the Mars-copter was carried in the belly of Nasa’s Perseverance rover, which successfully landed on the Red Planet on 18 February 2021.
 

Corelli

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How many billions did it cost to send it there. They could have flown in the kalahari : )
 

Milano

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Where is the actual flight on Mars, then?
Yeah fortunately DailyMail had already shown the clip of NASA employees imagining it fly so it wasn't necessary to actually spend 47 mins on that video. I don't know what that video is meant to be.

DM said something about a bunch of 2,5 sec videos of the actual flight will take 2-3 days to stream back to earth and then we can watch.

 

Z3120

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Suspenseful & dramatic with either gadgets playing with sand or individuals playing with objects in "zero" gravity.

Why is there never anything actually remarkable coming from the frontier that doesn't require a stretch of the imagination.
 

KleinBoontjie

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it was only ever built to fly as a tech demo.
An expensive demo at that : "The Ingenuity helicopter cost an additional $80 million to build and $5 million to operate during its 1-month mission."
What will be inside of that teeny "helicopter" that would push the price up to $80mil?
 

Gordon_R

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An expensive demo at that : "The Ingenuity helicopter cost an additional $80 million to build and $5 million to operate during its 1-month mission."
What will be inside of that teeny "helicopter" that would push the price up to $80mil?

The numbers you see are always the cost of development and testing, not the price of raw materials (scrap value). It's a one-off, hand-made, not mass-produced. On earth it can only be flown in a pressure chamber (0.15% of normal air density). Many people doubted it could ever work. Like the Wright brothers, NASA spent years getting the design optimised.
 

Gordon_R

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Next exotic craft, Dragonfly on Saturn's moon Titan:
Dragonfly will be a rotorcraft lander, much like a large quadcopter with double rotors, an octocopter. Redundant rotor configuration will enable the mission to tolerate the loss of at least one rotor or motor. Each of the craft's eight rotors will be about 1 m (3.3 ft) in diameter. The aircraft will travel at about 10 m/s (36 km/h; 22 mph) and climb to an altitude of up to 4 km (13,000 ft).

Flight on Titan is aerodynamically benign as Titan has low gravity and little wind, and its dense atmosphere allows for efficient rotor propulsion. The radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG) power source has been proven in multiple spacecraft, and the extensive use of quad drones on Earth provides a well-understood flight system that is being complemented with algorithms to enable independent actions in real-time. The craft will be designed to operate in a space radiation environment and in temperatures averaging 94 K (−179.2 °C).

Titan's dense atmosphere and low gravity mean that the flight power for a given mass is a factor of about 40 times lower than on Earth. The atmosphere has 1.45 times the pressure and about four times the density of Earth's, and local gravity (13.8% of Earth's) will make it easier to fly, although cold temperatures, lower light levels and higher atmospheric drag on the airframe will be challenges.
 
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