If there’s one thing that everyone on Earth can clearly agree on, it’s that there can never be such a thing as too many drones.
And it seems that NASA are now planning to start the drone craze on Mars as well with a new helicopter device:
The US space agency said Friday it plans to launch the first-ever helicopter to Mars in 2020, a miniature, unmanned drone-like chopper that could boost our understanding of the Red Planet.
I’m not sure how they plan to get a GPS lock, given that there are no S’s around Mars, but this is NASA, and if they faked the moon landings, well, then they can do most anything. And that likely includes coming up with a superb name for this craft, just like they did with Apollo, Challenger, Discovery and Titan.
And that name is… [drum roll]…
The Mars Helicopter
[sad trombone] Oh.
And they’re starting small:
Its first flight calls for a brief vertical climb of 10 feet (three meters), followed by hovering for a half minute.
Wow. 10 feet. 30 seconds. Hold the front pages.
Don’t push yourselves, NASA.
I clearly need to get my Mavic out there, stat. I’d be buzzing Olympus Mons, shooting high quality 4K video and doing dronies on Curiosity while NASA’s rookies were still putting the paperwork and requisition forms together, wondering if they could maybe risk trying a gentle turn to the right.
If you’re reading this, NASA, I am available for this kind of thing (in between my lab antics with TB). I’ve flown over the Northern Cape: I know what desolation looks like.
But I don’t think I need to be in Texas or Florida or California or wherever you’re running your circus from at the moment. If you can control a drone on a planet 55 million kilometres away, I really don’t think it matters if I’m across a bit of sea from your place.
And I’m certainly not going to Mars.
Have drone, won’t travel.