Technology News from Sri Lanka: In the High Bay 1 cleanroom at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, engineers attached NASA’s Mars Helicopter, which will be the first aircraft to fly to another planet.
Together with the Mars Helicopter Delivery System, the twin-rotor, the solar-powered helicopter was linked to a tray on the rover’s belly which contains a cover to shield the helicopter from debris during entry, descent, and landing. After landing, the helicopter will remain encapsulated, deploying to the surface once a suitable area is found at Jezero Crater, the destination of the rover to conduct test flights.
The Mars Helicopter is considered as a demonstration of high-risk, high-reward technology. If the tiny craft faces problems, the Mars 2020 mission’s science-gathering will not be affected. Future Mars missions could enlist second-generation helicopters if the helicopter takes flight as intended to add an aerial dimension to their explorations.