Besides the obvious use of drones, which as we know, are used to explore very remote and inaccessible regions on earth, they could be very crucial for investigating other planets. An idea for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs, better known as drones) for exploring Mars is being developed by Engineers at NASA’s Langley research Centre.
At present, the Curiosity rover is touring the red planet. The space machine has aided scientists to make some interesting realizations, like the fact that Mars once had necessary conditions to support life. It’s a big achievement, particularly noting that the rover is jammed to the ground. In 2020 when the next rover goes to Mars, it could go along with a drone that would assist in widening its survey of the landscape.
The hurdle NASA’s engineers are trying to deal with is getting a drone to fly in conditions dissimilar from home. From a point of view, flying on Mars should be easier as the planet has 3/8 the gravity on the Earth. On the other hand, Mars has 100 times lesser atmosphere, hence, when the rotor blades on the drones spin they will have thin air to push against, which means that taking off will be particularly tough.
Whether the drones can fly in reality will be determined by the size of the blades and the weight of the vehicle, however, the challenge is that it would take about eight months to travel to Mars to test various designs.