NASA’s Mars Helicopter Passes Another Flight Test – Slashdot


The autonomous rotorcraft NASA is planning to integrate with the agency’s Mars 2020 rover mission has successfully passed another round of important tests. The Verge reports: Earlier this year, JPL conducted tests of the helicopter in “a simulated Martian environment” that put the helicopter through temperatures as low as minus 130 degrees Fahrenheit and flew it in a vacuum chamber that simulated Martian air — it was also attached to a “motorized lanyard” to help simulate Martian gravity. Some of the testing was to ensure that the Mars Helicopter could survive the conditions it would experience during an actual rocket launch. The Mars Helicopter is now back at JPL, where it will has already had a new solar panel installed. NASA says that it isn’t putting any science instruments on the helicopter beyond a camera, but that instead it’s a “technology demonstrator” to prove that it’s possible to remotely fly a Martian drone from Earth.