China’s space agency has developed a new miniature helicopter that is built for surveillance work on Mars missions. The space agency made the announcement months after the landing of its rover on Mars, which continues to send images.
Going by the photograph posted on the website of China’s National Space Science Center, the new mini-helicopter looks similar to the robotic helicopter Ingenuity which was developed by NASA for its Perseverance mission this year.
The rotor blades on the Chinese flying machine is similar to the ones used in NASA’s Ingenuity which is housed in the Perseverance rover. The Chinese prototype sports two rotor blades, a sensor-and-camera base and four thin legs. But there is no solar panel at the top like Ingenuity, according to the photograph.
According to the Chinese space agency, the flying tool can be used for exploration on Mars. However, the exact functionality is still unknown.
China is the second country after the United States to have successfully landed a rover on the surface of Mars. NASA landed the Perseverance in the month of February.
NASA’s Ingenuity made its inaugural flight from the Persevearance rover in April. The mini helicopter managed to rise about 3 metres (10 feet) above the surface. It became humankind’s first successful deployment of a powered aircraft in a world other than Earth. According to NASA, Ingenuity has made more than 10 outings since April, covering an overall distance of more than 2 km (1.2 miles) with a total flight time of around 20 minutes.
Considering that Mars’ atmosphere is just 1% as dense as the Earths. Scientists need to account for the lack of aerodynamic lift. On the Ingenuity, NASA increased the size of the blades and even increased the rotations in order to compensate for lack of lift.
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