The Ingenuity helicopter, which took off on April 19 from Jessero on Mars, did not have a “terrible” target. The only question Ingenuity had to ask was whether it was possible to have a controlled flight to Mars. NASA has a successful answer to that: flying is possible. This is a great revolution. The revolution that brought great changes in the field of international space and further exploration. There has always been a concern that this revolution is possible. Elsewhere, not all soil conditions are favorable. The atmosphere can be thinner or thicker than Earth. But Ingenuity has shown that this huge hurdle can be overcome with technological excellence. The flight has taken place on Mars, which is extremely thin and has a density of only one percent of Earth’s atmosphere. Why is it so important to know if it is possible to fly? Why is it celebrated so much?
We have seen humans flying airplanes and other spacecraft toward aliens in science fiction movies and elsewhere. But this is not just a story. Man wants to use such systems in future exploration. NASA, the last word in international space flight, has secret and public plans in this regard. Astronomers know very well that this is the only way to complete the exploration. Today’s exploration systems are generally based on orbiting artificial satellites, landing landers, and robotic rovers orbiting the surface.
But only with these it is impossible to obtain complete information about a planet or another space region. Many planets have tall mountains, lakes, oceans, and expansive craters. These are areas where invaluable secrets and knowledge are hidden. Controlled aerial systems will help to successfully explore here. The man also has plans to use the space beyond studies. In the future, mining could take place in the mineral-rich areas of the solar system. Colonies can be established in strange areas if the conditions necessary to sustain life can be created … the opportunities are endless. In all of these, controlled air systems will be crucial.
Man has already flown over non-terrestrial areas. The lunar modules from the Apollo missions that brought humans to the moon flew back into the air and returned the passengers. The Soviet Union flew balloons in 1985 as part of the Vega 1 and Vega 2 missions on our neighboring planet Venus. But none of these were controlled flights. Mimi Ong, project leader at Ingenuity, says the future is set for future space exploration, including drones and robotic planes. With this, another project for the future of NASA comes to light. The project is the dragonfly that astronauts call the giant of ingenuity. Launched in 2026, this special drone mission will launch from Earth in 2026 and reach its destination in 2034.
Dragonfly’s journey to Titan, Saturn’s satellite and the most focused area in space. Saturn is gaseous and has no chance of life. But Titan is not like that. This satellite is considered a place where many mysteries and secrets are hidden. As the name implies, a dragonfly with eight rotors is a drone that flies from one place to another and explores again. NASA calls the flight of the dragonfly a leap of a frog.
The main mission of the Dragonfly mission is to investigate if Titan is alive or if it contains chemicals related to life. The dragonfly was designed by NASA based on information provided by Cassini, the legendary mission that has long observed Saturn’s and planet’s satellite systems, and Higgins, the rover that landed on Titan. On Titan, the atmosphere is four times as dense as Earth’s and the gravitational pull is less. The atmosphere is mostly filled with nitrogen. From time to time clouds full of methane will rain.
Titan is 140 million kilometers from the Sun. 10 times the distance between the Sun and Earth. Therefore, the temperature in the region is -179 degrees. There are pros and cons to flying here. Scientists say conditions on Titan are similar to those on Earth. Therefore, the study of Titan can provide information on some of the most important problems, including the origin of life on Earth. The first dragonfly to land on the Titan is called the Shangri-La. The information will then be flown to various locations for sample collection and evaluation.
Each flight lasts about eight meters. Weighing 459 kg, the drone has a top speed of 36 km / h and can reach altitudes of up to 4 km / h. All four instruments are tasked with taking samples and evaluating them. The mission is powered by a lithium-ion battery. There is also a thermoelectric generator to charge the battery. After flying through various regions, the mission will take samples to the famous Selk Crater on Titan. Selk Crater is believed to have been the site of primitive water and other organic compounds. This will give you invaluable information from here.
The dragonfly is estimated to travel 175 km on the Titan. The distance traveled by the dragonfly is about twice the distance traveled by all the rovers that have explored Mars. This figure is a direct testament to what you can do to fly beyond constant travel.
Dragonfly is part of NASA’s ‘New Frontiers’ project to explore beyond traditional areas. Other projects include New Horizons to Pluto, Juno to Jupiter, and Osiris Rex to asteroid Bennu. This is the responsibility of NASA’s Planetary Mission Program.
Summary in English: How does NASA’s historic flight with an ingenious helicopter on Mars help in the future?
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