At the age of 22, María Regina Apodaca, an eighth-year physics student at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, developed a scale model of the helicopter that will fly across the skies of Mars in the year 2020.
At a press conference, she explained that it was developed during her research internship at NASA, which lasted four months and began in February of this year.
Its name is Mars Exploration Helicopter, and its mission is to fly over and document the surface of the so-called Red Planet.
She specified that the actual dimensions of the helicopter will be 1.2 meters in diameter in the blades, the central hub of the device will be 15 centimeters by 15 centimeters and should have a maximum weight of 1.5 kilos, while the expectation is one kilogram.
“The reason for this is that with Mars having a much thinner atmosphere, the heavier it is, the harder it will be for the helicopter to fly,” he said.
“The helicopter was to be thrown into the rocket underneath the Robert … the helicopter can close its blades in such a way that it saves a lot of space,” María added.
The purpose of the device, she said, is to be part of the NASA Rover expedition team and take graphics to bring information back to Earth, although it is not yet defined where the camera will be placed and she also indicated that she can not report on the material that will be used to build this aircraft, since it is NASA’s classified information.
“What we want to demonstrate is that it is possible to fly on another planet and our mission is that this helicopter will be able to take off, actually fly and amartize at least 10 times during the expedition,” María Regina concluded.