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NASA's small helicopter makes its final flight on Mars

NASA's small helicopter makes its final flight on Mars

The article was originally published in English

The US space agency said that the helicopter suffered damage to its helicopter blades last week and was no longer fit for long-range flight.


Small helicopter The ingenuity of the Mars helicopter NASA ended its mission because it could no longer fly.

“It is bittersweet to announce that clevernessNASA Administrator Bill Nelson said: “The small helicopter that can make its last flight on Mars.”

The US Space Agency said that the helicopter landed for the first time on Mars in 2021 and made dozens more flights than expected.

However, on its final flight, on January 18, one or more of its carbon fiber rotor blades were damaged during landing.

“This incredible helicopter has flown higher and farther than we ever imagined, helping NASA do what we do best, which is make the impossible possible,” Nelson added in a statement.

“Through missions such as clevernessHe added that NASA is paving the way for future journeys to our solar system and for smarter and safer human exploration to Mars and beyond.

The helicopter was originally designed to make up to five experimental test flights over 30 days, but ended up staying on Mars for three years.

NASA said it conducted 72 flights and flew more than 14 times farther than planned.

NASA's Mars Explorer

“This little helicopter can fly in a 1% atmosphere, not 100% of the atmosphere like on Earth. It went through a 1% atmosphere and was able to fly, and what happened? cleverness “We have accomplished far beyond what we thought was possible,” Nelson said.

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Hey cleverness Travel to Mars attached to the rover perseverance from NASA and ended up working as a scout, checking sites for scientists and rovers.

The helicopter made a short vertical flight on January 18, reaching an altitude of 12 meters and hovering for about five seconds before landing. Only one meter above sea level cleverness Contact with the rover was lost, and communications were restored the next day.

He added, “The pictures that revealed the damage to the rotor blade arrived several days later. The cause of the loss of communications and the helicopter's direction at the time of landing is still under investigation.” NASA.

In addition to helping scientists search for life on Mars, cleverness “It has paved the way for future flights in our solar system, and paves the way for smarter, safer human missions to Mars and beyond,” Nelson said.