PIA26079: Testing Next-Generation Mars Helicopter Rotors
 Mission:  Mars Helicopter 
 Product Size:  848 x 476 pixels (w x h)
 Produced By:  JPL
 Full-Res TIFF:  PIA26079.tif (1.022 MB)
 Full-Res JPEG:  PIA26079.jpg (67.35 kB)

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A dual rotor system for the next generation of Mars helicopters is tested in the 25-Foot Space Simulator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California on Sept.15, 2023. Over three weeks, the carbon-fiber blades were spun up at ever-higher speeds and greater pitch angles to see if they would remain intact as their tips approached supersonic speeds. Longer and stronger than those used on NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter, the blades reached Mach 0.95 during the test.

The simulator's vacuum chamber allows engineers to test spacecraft and components in conditions like those they would face on Mars.

The inset at upper right shows the same test from the perspective of a second camera also located inside the chamber.

The Ingenuity Mars Helicopter was built by JPL, which manages the project for NASA Headquarters. It is supported by NASA's Science Mission Directorate. NASA's Ames Research Center in California's Silicon Valley and NASA's Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, provided significant flight performance analysis and technical assistance during Ingenuity's development. AeroVironment Inc., Qualcomm, and SolAero also provided design assistance and major vehicle components. Lockheed Martin Space designed and manufactured the Mars Helicopter Delivery System. JPL is managed for the agency by Caltech in Pasadena, California.

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