NASA will send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is it needed

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    NASA to send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is it necessary

    The space agency has made adjustments to the original plan to bring Martian rock samples to Earth.

    NASA has decided to send two Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars along with other spacecraft as part of the Mars Sample Return program. The purpose of this program is to pick up rock samples collected on Mars from the Perseverance rover and deliver them to Earth, according to Futurism.

    NASA made this decision under the impression of the long and fruitful work of the first flying vehicle on Mars – Ingenuity helicopter. Instead of the planned five flights, the device completed as many as 29 in more than a year of operation.

    As already written by Focus, so far the operation of this aircraft has been suspended due to weather conditions on the Red Planet. But scientists hope that Ingenuity will still fly, although it is not known how long it can still work.

    NASA will send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is this needed

    Initially, as part of the Mars Sample Return mission, NASA planned to deliver another rover to Mars, which would take rock samples from Perseverance and deliver them to the Sample Retrieval Lander. Focus has already written in detail about the initial tasks of the Mars Sample Return program.

    After that, a special robotic Sample Transfer Arm must pick up these samples and move them to the Mars Ascent Vehicle rocket. That, in turn, must deliver the samples into orbit and transfer them, too, with the help of a manipulator to the Earth Return Orbiter orbiter. And he will already deliver the samples to Earth. As for the Mars Ascent Vehicle rocket, it will be the first artificial object to take off from the surface of Mars.

    NASA will send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is this needed

    < p>In principle, practically nothing has changed in this program, except for the fact that the second rover is no longer needed. Its mission will be carried out by Perseverance itself and two new helicopters. With the help of this teamwork of three vehicles, a rover and two helicopters, the samples will be delivered to the Sample Retrieval Lander.

    NASA to send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is it necessary

    To date, the Perseverance rover has already collected 11 rock samples in the Lake Lake crater on Mars, but it has several dozen more empty containers waiting to be filled. Already this fall, NASA will begin designing and building the first prototypes of all the necessary vehicles for the mission to deliver rock samples from Mars.

    NASA will send two more Ingenuity-class helicopters to Mars: why is this needed

    As for the actual launch of all vehicles of the Mars Sample Return program to Mars, it will consist of two stages. First, an orbiter will go to Mars in the fall of 2027, and a lander, a rocket to launch into orbit and new helicopters will fly to the Red Planet in the summer of 2028. Therefore, according to NASA's forecast, rock samples from Mars will not reach Earth until 2033.

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