October 2, 2022
NASA sends two more helicopters on a mission to Mars |  Sciences

NASA sends two more helicopters on a mission to Mars | Sciences

NASA is set to launch two more small helicopters to Mars on a mission to return scientific samples of Martian soil to Earth.

In 2021, the Ingenuity mini-helicopter made the historic first powered and controlled flight on the Red Planet, As part of the agency’s strategy solely to assess flight conditions on the planet.

Since then, Ingenuity has made about 30 test flights. Now, NASA and the European Space Agency, the European Space Agency, plan to build and launch two similar instruments at the end of this decade to transport rock and soil samples from Mars to our planet.

If all goes as planned, as many as 30 samples will be collected in 2031 and reach Earth in 2033.

the program Mars sample return (Mars Sample Return Program) is in the final stages of its design project, after an initial review of the launch strategy.

Earlier, NASA had intended to transport to Mars a new robot that would be built by the European Space Agency, and which would transport scientific materials collected by the European Space Agency. perseverance (The robot was launched with Ingenuity which searches for traces of life on this planet) to a rocket made by the Americans.

Perseverance, the robot that NASA sent to Mars. Image: NASA

Now, the mission intends to make perseverance Move alone to the landing module where this missile will be stopped.

However, if the robot fails this task, this is where the new Helicopters come into play: The two rigs that are being built will carry persistence samples.

According to Associated Press, NASA program manager Jeff Gramling, each helicopter is designed to transport one sample tube from the robot at a time, and make several round trips.

“We’re confident we can count on persistence to return samples and we’ve added helicopters as a kind of Plan B,” Gramling said.

The agencies hope that this new strategy will reduce the complexity of future missions to Mars and increase the likelihood of the space program’s success.

“There are some significant and beneficial changes to the plan, which can be directly attributed to Jezero’s recent successes of perseverance. [uma cratera do planeta que já foi um lago há bilhões de anos] Thomas Zurbuchen, director of science missions at NASA, said: