Technology Space: NASA mini-helicopter made its first flight to Mars

Space: NASA mini-helicopter made its first flight to Mars


Video length: 1 min.

France 3

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The moment is brief but historic: a NASA mini-helicopter has made its first flight to Mars. Journalist Jean-Christophe Batteria tells us more about the 19/20 set, Monday April 19.

It’s a historic moment: a NASA mini-helicopter made its first flight to Mars on Monday, April 19. The feat was immortalized in a video and a photo. “The objective was under the small helicopter and we see the shadow cast by the machine on the ground of Mars, proof that it has taken off. The video was taken from the Perseverance rover that brought the helicopter to Mars“, indicates the journalist Jean-Christophe Batteria, on the set of 19/20.

Thanks to the video, we can observe the machine taking off from about three meters. He manages to stay in suspension for about thirty seconds. This is a real challenge because we had to solve problems that were unknown on earth, such as the distance to place an order. Indeed, as the journalist specifies, “you have to wait 15 minutes because you are 280 million km away and another 15 minutes to know if the order has been executed“. The action must therefore be programmed with the greatest precision. Finally, the air on Mars is less dense than on earth. The blades of the helicopter, which turn faster than on a normal machine, consequently have been enlarged.

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