China is working on Mars drones that can fly faster than the Speed of sound. A report in the South China Morning Post, suggests a team of Chinese scientists has developed a concept for a drone. The drone weighs 1100 pounds and possibly travels five times the speed of sound and cruising altitude of 5,000 meters. This is just a concept and may take years to get the concept working in the real world.
Xu Xu, a researcher at Beihang University, member of the working on the drone said, “The first hypersonic flight on Mars may not happen within 30 years because many technical issues need to be solved”
There is also confusion if the craft will travel more than the speed of sound on Earth or on Mars. According to Nasa, on the Red Planet, the speed of sound is around 540 mph, while on Earth it is roughly 760 mph. Though both are pretty fast.
The purpose of the hypersonic drone is to help connect potential future Mars colonies. Mars will in the future be inhabited with communities spread across its surface. This is where being able to quickly travel from Earth to the Red Planet would prove to be beneficial.
Xu further said, “when humans start to colonize Mars, with some settlements built at different locations across the planet, there will be a demand for long-distance transport.”
The Chinese drones to Mars will be different from Nasa’sIngenuity drone. As they will require to be big enough to transport people and cargo. It certainly won’t have the helicopter propellers as it will require a sleek design, keeping the aerodynamics in mind and resembles a cruise missile.
The Mars drones will be fueled with magnesium, since Mars’s atmosphere is roughly 96 percent carbon dioxide, magnesium burns quite efficiently. China aims to have the hypersonic spacecraft ready by 2045.