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 following day.
“The helicopter is protected and in good well being,” stated a press release, including the rotorcraft had didn’t transition to “flight mode.”
The workforce plans to aim the flight as soon as extra on Friday at 10:46 am Jap Time (1446 GMT) with information anticipated again at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory round three hours later.
Goal excessive, and fly, fly once more. The #MarsHelicopter‘s bold fourth flight did not get off the bottom, however the workforce is assessing the info and can intention to attempt once more quickly. We’ll maintain you posted. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWEpic.twitter.com/HDaF0fAILs
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 29, 2021
The software program concern 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 explanation 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.
“Right now’s delay is according to that expectation and doesn’t stop 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 came about Sunday, noticed it transfer sooner and additional than ever earlier than, with a peak velocity of 6.6 ft (two meters) per second. It lined 64 ft (50 meters) of distance.
Ingenuity’s flights are difficult due to situations vastly totally different from Earth’s — foremost amongst them a rarefied environment 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 expertise demonstration will finish in early Might to permit the Perseverance rover to return to its essential process: looking for indicators of previous microbial life on Mars.
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