The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

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The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

Postby aardvark_admin » Mon May 14, 2018 8:25 am

This column is archived at https://aardvark.co.nz/daily/2018/0514.shtml

Can NASA do the seemingly impossible and fly a small, autonomous, coaxial helicopter on the surface of Mars without crashing it?

Anyone who has played with flying models (autonomous and otherwise) will be well-aware of the many issues that could ankle-tap such an attempt, and that's even before you factor in the incredibly low density of the Martian atmosphere, the very limited power and the uber-cold overnight temperatures.

Place your bets ladies and gentlemen....
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Re: The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

Postby latewings » Mon May 14, 2018 9:06 am

Saw that article a couple of days ago. It surprises me they've opted for a helicopter. At best they're likely only to sustain a ground effect hover given the density altitude they're stuck with.

A hovercraft or even a sailplane with high aspect wings replete with solar panels capable of sustaining ground effect lift would get them further, but I guess the takeoff roll might be tricky given the landscape.

In all rather an interesting concept, until it falls over.
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Re: The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

Postby granada29 » Mon May 14, 2018 11:30 am

"I also trust they've issued the requisite NOTAMs with the Martian air-traffic control centre so as not to endanger any Martian airliners and so as to avoid the inevitable barrage of complaints from Martians who will claim they are being spied on by this craft."

Probably be a good idea if NASA were to talk to the local council as well. Oh wait.... That won't achieve anything.
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Re: The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

Postby phill » Mon May 14, 2018 2:11 pm

im surprised it doesn't appear to have any form of self righting
esp as it seems that unpowered landings are likely to be encountered

i would also be interested in the cost of it
and if any here would have designed it differently
( ,,,,,,,, ....... A E I O U use em sparingly theres probably not enough )
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Re: The most ambitious Mars mission yet? (14

Postby Perry » Mon May 14, 2018 10:22 pm

Frequency clearance could also be needed.
Is there a CAA on Mars?
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