(ORDO NEWS) — The Ingenuity helicopter, assisting the Perseverance rover on its mission to explore the Red Planet, has been a huge success.
He completed 28 flights and set records both in speed and distance traveled. NASA is currently developing the much larger and more capable Dragonfly helicopter, which will study Titan over the next decade.
And he has a great chance to break many Ingenuity records.
Dragonfly is currently in development. But recently it has been testing its rotor blades in a unique test chamber located at NASA’s Langley Research Center.
The Dragonfly will be able to do without several of its main rotor blades, making it far more reliable than the Ingenuity.
Even the power shortages that will eventually kill Ingenuity won’t be such a big deal for Dragonfly, as it’s planned to use a radioisotope heat generator rather than a stack of solar panels.
The Dragonfly looks like a large terrestrial drone. Its dimensions are approximately 3.5 meters long and 3.5 meters wide.
Eight rotors will allow the helicopter to travel from one location on Titan’s surface to another, allowing it to collect data from various locations on the cloud-shrouded moon.
However, the mission is still far from achieving this goal, since testing the rotor is one of the first steps in the overall test program.
But designers and engineers have time before launch in 2027. The ship will have to reach its destination in 2034. Until then, there are many more tests to be done.
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