Washington sources reported that NASA is planning to send the first unmanned helicopter to Mars in its mission scheduled to launch in 2020, to test the viability and potential of heavier-than-air vehicles on the red planet. It was started in August 2013 as a technology development project at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the Mars Helicopter had to prove that big things could come in small packages.
Meanwhile the result of the team's four years of design, testing and redesign weighs in at little less than 1.8 kilograms. Further its fuselage is about the size of a softball, and its twin, counter rotating blades will bite into the thin Martian atmosphere at almost 3,000 rotations per minute about 10 times the rate of a helicopter on Earth.
Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission
Directorate at the agency headquarters in Washington said "Exploring the
red planet with NASA's Mars Helicopter exemplifies a successful marriage of
science and technology innovation and is a unique opportunity to advance Mars
exploration for the future". Moreover Zurbuchen said "After the
Wright Brothers proved 117 years ago that powered, sustained, and controlled
flight was possible here on Earth, another group of American pioneers may prove
the same can be done on another world”.
Cyclone Alert over west-central Bay of Bengal: IMD Accordingly a cyclone alert has been issued for the northern coastal region of the state of Andhra Pradesh with the Indian Meteorological Department predicting 'very heavy to extremely heavy' rains in the region. Meanwhile the IMD has stated that depression has formed over west-central Bay of Bengal which could intensify into a cyclonic storm.
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