NASA has delayed by at the very least a number of days the primary flight of its mini-helicopter on Mars after a potential tech situation emerged whereas testing its rotors, the US house company stated Saturday.
Ingenuity’s journey, which is to be the first-ever powered, managed flight on one other planet, was set for Sunday however is now on maintain till at the very least April 14.
A high-speed take a look at of the four-pound (1.eight kilogram) helicopter’s rotors on Friday ended sooner than anticipated because of an alert of a possible situation.
“The helicopter team is reviewing telemetry to diagnose and understand the issue,” NASA stated in a press release. “Following that, they will reschedule the full-speed test.”
NASA famous the copter is “safe and healthy” and had despatched data again to Earth.
Initially the plan for Sunday was to have Ingenuity fly for 30 seconds to take an image of the Perseverance rover, which touched down on Mars on February 18 with the helicopter hooked up to its underside.
NASA calls the unprecedented helicopter operation extremely dangerous, however says it might reap invaluable information in regards to the circumstances on Mars.
The flight is a real problem as a result of the air on Mars is so skinny — lower than one % of the strain of Earth’s ambiance.
This means Ingenuity should spin its rotor blades a lot sooner than a helicopter must do on Earth with a view to fly.
After the flight, Ingenuity will ship Perseverance technical information on what it has carried out, and that data can be transmitted again to Earth.
This will embody a black and white picture of the Martian floor that Ingenuity is programmed to snap whereas flying.
A day later, as soon as its batteries have charged up once more, Ingenuity is to transmit one other picture — in colour, of the Martian horizon, taken with a unique digicam.
If the flight is a hit, NASA plans one other not more than 4 days later. It plans as many as 5 altogether, every successively harder, over the course of a month.
NASA hopes to make the helicopter rise 5 meters (16 ft) after which transfer laterally.
The mission is be the equal on Mars of the primary powered flight on Earth — by the Wright brothers in 1903 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. A chunk of material from that airplane has been tucked inside Ingenuity in honor of that feat.
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