When it comes to space missions or space technology, most people always think of NASA as the most representative agency within this realm. However, countries like Russia or China have also been developing technology aimed at exploring territories outside the Earth.
In the case of China, the effort made by the space agency of this country in the development of a miniature helicopter prototype that could be destined to carry out surveillance tasks in future missions to the planet Mars.
In terms of design, this device has an appearance that could be very similar to that of the robotic helicopter Ingenuity, used by NASA on its Perseverance mission. This, according to the photos published by the National Center for Space Sciences of China (NSSC for its acronym in English) on its website.
This is how this helicopter constitutes one of the three projects corresponding to the technology cultivation program promoted by the NSSC.
It is worth mentioning that flying an aircraft over the thin atmosphere of Mars is not a new wish from China. Already in 2020, a concept devised by the Qian Xuesen Space Technology Laboratory for the mission to the red planet that would later be discarded.
In that sense, the proposal involved three ground penetrators that would be designed to be released during descent. Added to this, a balloon that would come into operation when it was at a height of 1 to 5 kilometers, remaining in activity for a week. In the end, all these ships and gadgets would work together for the purpose of obtaining three-dimensional, multi-layered and multi-source information.
Among the most salient features that China’s prototype space helicopter presents and that shares similarities with Ingenuity are its two rotor blades, as well as the basis on which the sensors and cameras; all this supported by four thin legs. However, unlike the Ingenuity, this vehicle will not have the solar panel located on top.