NASA’s Mars Ingenuity helicopter missed its fourth scheduled flight on Thursday, with the area company blaming a software program glitch and vowing to attempt once more the subsequent day.
“The helicopter is safe and in good health,” stated a press release, including the rotorcraft had didn’t transition to “flight mode.”
The crew plans to try the flight as soon as extra on Friday at 10:46 am Eastern Time (1446 GMT) with knowledge anticipated again at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory round three hours later.
Aim excessive, and fly, fly once more. The #MarsHelicopter‘s formidable fourth flight did not get off the bottom, however the crew is assessing the information and can goal to attempt once more quickly. We’ll hold you posted. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWEpic.twitter.com/HDaF0fAILs
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 29, 2021
The software program subject is considered the identical one which delayed Ingenuity’s maiden voyage, the primary powered flight on one other planet. Initially scheduled for April 11, the historic feat occurred April 19.
The purpose was a glitch related to the plane’s “watchdog timer,” which alerts Ingenuity to potential issues and pauses its processes if it thinks it has detected an error.
Engineers made a coding tweak that allowed Ingenuity to beat the issue and transition to flight mode appropriately — however estimated there was a 15 % probability it could not work on every flight try.
“Today’s delay is in line with that expectation and does not prevent future flight,” NASA stated.
Since reaching Mars in February underneath the stomach of the Perseverance rover, the four-pound (1.eight kilograms) helicopter has made three profitable flights.
The final, which passed off Sunday, noticed it transfer quicker and additional than ever earlier than, with a peak velocity of 6.6 toes (two meters) per second. It lined 64 toes (50 meters) of distance.
Ingenuity’s flights are difficult due to circumstances vastly totally different from Earth’s — foremost amongst them a rarefied ambiance that has lower than one % the density of our personal and means it has to spin its rotors at 2,400 revolutions per minute.
The Ingenuity know-how demonstration will finish in early May to permit the Perseverance rover to return to its principal process: trying to find indicators of previous microbial life on Mars.
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