计划于2021年在火星上飞行的直升机完成首次试飞!

【计划于2021年在火星上飞行的直升机完成首次试飞!】“下次我们再飞的时候,我们就在火星上飞”。美国宇航局的一架直升机在2021年飞往火星之前,在模拟火星环境下完成了试飞。美国宇航局表示,驾驶这种设备飞行是一项极其困难的技术壮举。测试实验室位于帕萨迪纳,其尽可能地复制了火星的稀薄大气和冰冻温度,夜间温度低至-90°C。

'The next time we fly, we fly on Mars': NASA helicopter completes test flights in simulated Martian conditions ahead of its mission to the red planet in 2021

  • Helicopter has completed its first test flight and is set to fly to Mars in two years
  • Exploration on other planets has long been restricted to rovers on the ground 
  • NASA says that flying such a device is an incredibly difficult technical feat
  • The 4lb (1.8kg) helicopter is being put through its paces in a vacuum chamber at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California

A helicopter that is set to fly on Mars in 2021 has completed its first test flight, NASA has revealed.

The 4lb (1.8kg) device will be carried in the belly of the of the Mars 2020 rover but will fly into the skies above the red planet for the first time.

The space agency hope that the drone-like helicopter will give scientists new insight into what the Martian surface is like from above.

It took two brief test flights in a Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, which they said were the first and last time the craft will take flight until it reaches Mars.

Scientists describe flying the device remotely from hundreds of millions of miles away as an incredibly difficult technical feat.

Mars has a third less gravity and 99 per cent less air than Earth so the team suggest that it’s like flying it at 100,000 feet, even though initially it will only go 9 feet (3 metres) in the air.

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Exploration on other planets has long been restricted to rovers on the ground, but engineers are making progress in their ambitious plans to launch a drone-like device into the skies above the Red Planet for the first time

Exploration on other planets has long been restricted to rovers on the ground, but engineers are making progress in their ambitious plans to launch a drone-like device into the skies above the Red Planet for the first time

The lab, in Pasadena, replicated as closely as possible Mars's thin atmosphere and freezing temperatures, which reach as low as -90°C (-130°F) at night.

The vacuum chamber swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet, as well as a gravity offload system.

They accomplished this with a a motorised lanyard attached to the top of the helicopter to provide an uninterrupted tug equivalent to two-thirds of Earth's gravity.

'Getting our helicopter into an extremely thin atmosphere is only part of the challenge,' said Teddy Tzanetos, test conductor for the Mars Helicopter.

'To truly simulate flying on Mars we have to take away two-thirds of Earth's gravity, because Mars's gravity is that much weaker.'

The craft will operate mostly autonomously, since the half-hour round trip for commands would be far too long for an Earth-based pilot to operate it.

It operates on solar cells and batteries and has small landing feet, and will perform flights of increasing distance from the rover over a 30-day period.

According to NASA, it will go about three meters in the air initially and then hopefully get hundreds of meters away from its partner.

Previously, exploration on other planets has long been restricted to rovers on the surface.

A few months after the Mars 2020 rover has landed in February 2021, the helicopter will detach and do test flights of up to 90 seconds.

NASA is aiming to launch the helicopter with the Mars 2020 rover in July 2020, before it is expected to reach the planet in February 2021 and carry out flights a few months later

NASA is aiming to launch the helicopter with the Mars 2020 rover in July 2020, before it is expected to reach the planet in February 2021 and carry out flights a few months later

The lab, in Pasadena, replicated as closely as possible Mars's thin atmosphere and freezing temperatures, which reach as low as minus 90C (minus 130F) at night. The vacuum chamber swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet, as well as a gravity offload system

The lab, in Pasadena, replicated as closely as possible Mars's thin atmosphere and freezing temperatures, which reach as low as minus 90C (minus 130F) at night. The vacuum chamber swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet, as well as a gravity offload system

The space agency has been putting the 4lb (1.8kg) helicopter through its paces in a vacuum chamber at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet

The space agency has been putting the 4lb (1.8kg) helicopter through its paces in a vacuum chamber at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, which swaps nitrogen, oxygen and other gases for carbon dioxide to mimic the atmosphere of the Red Planet

'The next time we fly, we fly on Mars,' said MiMi Aung, project manager for the Mars Helicopter.

'Watching our helicopter go through its paces in the chamber, I couldn't help but think about the historic vehicles that have been in there in the past.

 'The chamber hosted missions from the Ranger Moon probes to the Voyagers to Cassini, and every Mars rover ever flown.

'To see our helicopter in there reminded me we are on our way to making a little chunk of space history as well.'

Mars has a third less gravity and 99 per cent less air than Earth so the team suggest that it’s like flying it at 100,000 feet, even though initially it will only go 3 metres in the air. Here, one of the now defunct Opportunity rover's views of Mars

Mars has a third less gravity and 99 per cent less air than Earth so the team suggest that it’s like flying it at 100,000 feet, even though initially it will only go 3 metres in the air. Here, one of the now defunct Opportunity rover's views of Mars

The news comes days after US Vice President Mike Pence told NASA that he wants astronauts on the Moon again within five years.

NASA is accelerating plans to return to the  lunar surface by 2028 for the first time since 1972 and claim that they will be there 'to stay'.

The aerospace agency's head Jim Bridenstine said they plan to make the moon sustainable for humans so they can go back and forth regularly.

President Trump said in 2017 that he wants to return Americans to the moon and establish a foundation there for an eventual mission to Mars.

As a way-station for trips to and from Earth, NASA want to build a space station, dubbed Gateway, in the moon's orbit by 2026.

原文链接:https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-6864267/Helicopter-set-fly-Mars-2021.html


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