NASA Successfully Flight Tested Prandtl-d, Prototype Of First Mars Airplane





Space, 05 Jul - 2015 ,

NASA Successfully Flight Tested Prandtl-d, Prototype Of First Mars Airplane
This illustration shows what a Prandtl-m might look like flying above the surface of Mars. Credits: NASA Illustration / Dennis Calaba

If a NASA experimental program pans out, the first aircraft on Mars could be a flying wing. Under development at NASA Armstrong, the Prandtl–m is a flying wing glider designed to fly piggyback with a future Mars rover mission to provide low-altitude

If a NASA experimental program pans out, the first aircraft on Mars could be a flying wing. Under development at NASA Armstrong, the Prandtl–m is a flying wing glider designed to fly piggyback with a future Mars rover mission to provide low-altitude reconnaissance. It's scheduled to begin test flights later this year. Named the "Preliminary Research Aerodynamic Design to Land on Mars" (Prandtl-m), it's a drone being developed by NASA to fly over the Red Planet.

It's mission will be to scour the planet's surface and look for suitable landing sites for a human visit that could take place in the 2020s.

The space agency is aiming to test fly the drone at 100,000 feet here on Earth to prepare it for a trip to Mars. It will be launched from a high altitude balloon in conditions that simulate the Martian atmosphere.

The space agency says that a flying wing based on Prandtl-m could fly on a NASA Mars rover mission in 2022 - 2024. The glider would travel folded up in the spacecraft’s aeroshell and deploy during the descent through the atmosphere.

Source: NASA


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