The Mars Ingenuity helicopter made its first successful flight. The unmanned aircraft thus made history by being the first helicopter to fly over another planet. Daphne Stam, planet specialist, TU Delft, contributes News and Co explains why the seemingly unimpressive flight is such a big achievement.
“Flying on Mars is very difficult,” says Stam. “There is almost no air on the planet and a helicopter needs air to fly.”
More practical hot air balloon
Wouldn’t it be more practical to work with a ball? One of the Stam students thought so. “He wanted to build something that could carry materials for future astronauts.” Ingenuity cannot do that. “You can’t make a helicopter that will take building materials because it doesn’t have enough air pressure for it. So you better have a hot air balloon. “” The idea of his pupil is not entirely new. “Balloons have already flown over Venus,” the scientist said.
Ingenuity is lagging behind
What is planned for the helicopter? “Next week they’ll be going around in circles and trying all kinds of technical stuff.” “At some point they landed the helicopter and then it stops there.” Because the thief who needs the helicopter to schedule the flight cannot wait, he must investigate further.
It may take a while for astronauts to find the helicopter. Stam: “It might take just twenty years.” By then, the ingenuity will be on the ground.
Download the NPO Radio 1 app
You won’t go wanting with our app. Whether it’s news from home and abroad, sports, technology or culture; with the NPO Radio 1 app you are always up to date. Download it here for iOS at here for android.