Wednesday Nov 30, 2022
Wednesday Nov 30, 2022

NASA launching mini helicopters to Mars


Nepalnews
2022 Jul 28, 16:57,
This photo provided by NASA shows a rock collected by the Perseverance rover on Mars. NASA is launching two more mini helicopters to Mars in its effort to recover Martian rocks and soil samples and bring them to Earth. Under the plan announced Wednesday, July 27, 2022, NASA’s Perseverance rover will do double duty and transport samples to the rocket that will launch them off Mars a decade from now. Perseverance already has gathered 11 samples, with about 30 more to go. The most recent sample, a sedimentary rock, holds the greatest promise of containing possible evidence of ancient Martian life, according to Arizona State University's Meenakshi Wadhwa, chief scientist for the retrieval program. Photo/AP

NASA is launching two more mini helicopters to Mars in its effort to return Martian rocks and soil samples to Earth.

Under the plan announced Wednesday, NASA’s Perseverance rover will do double duty and transport the cache to the rocket that will launch them off the red planet a decade from now.

Perseverance already has gathered 11 samples with more rock drilling planned. The most recent sample, a sedimentary rock, holds the greatest promise of containing possible evidence of ancient Martian life, said Arizona State University’s Meenakshi Wadhwa, chief scientist for the retrieval effort.

There’s “a diversity of materials already in the bag, so to speak, and really excited about the potential for bringing these back,” she said.

If Perseverance breaks down, the two helicopters being built and launched later this decade would load the samples onto the rocket instead.

The helicopters will be modeled after NASA’s successful Ingenuity, which has made 29 flights since arriving with Perseverance at Mars early last year. The chopper weighs just 4 pounds (1.8 kilograms). The new versions would have wheels and grappling arms.

NASA officials said Perseverance’s impressive performance at Mars prompted them to ditch their plan to launch a separate fetch rover.

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NASA Mars sedimentary rock Martian life Launched two helicopters Rocket
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