India plans to send a helicopter to Mars

by alex

Ingenuity inspired India to create its own flying machine

India plans to send a helicopter on a new mission to Mars, following the example of the innovative Ingenuity, which has impressed the world with its achievements. As reported by India Today, the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) is working on a concept that would include a helicopter and a Mars orbiter. The mission is scheduled to launch in the early 2030s.

First Indian mission to Mars  — The Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM), or Mangalyaan, launched in 2013 and reached the Red Planet's orbit in 2014. She conducted scientific research for eight years, but contact with her was lost in 2022.

ISRO's next mission to Mars will be more ambitious. Scientists from the Space Physics Laboratory at the Vikram Sarabhai Space Center spoke about plans to use the helicopter in the mission. It will carry a set of devices for studying the atmosphere of Mars. Among them are a sensor for temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, electric field, as well as dust sensors for measuring the vertical distribution of dust aerosols.

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The helicopter will have to fly at an altitude of up to 100 meters above the surface of Mars to fully study its atmosphere. Compared to Ingenuity, which reached a height of 24 meters and covered 17 kilometers of horizontal distance, this device will have greater capabilities.

Ingenuity, a helicopter that began exploring Mars along with Perseverance in 2021, showed that flights are possible in the planet’s thin atmosphere and exceeded all expectations. It successfully completed 72 flights and terminated its mission in January 2024 due to damage to its blades.

Not only India, but also other countries, inspired by the achievements of NASA, are working on creating their own Martian drones. For example, China is developing a drone that could play an important role in the mission to return samples from Mars.

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