NASA delays Mars helicopter Ingenuity’s 1st flight to April 14

NASA's Mars Helicopter Ingenuity is seen by the Perseverance rover after unlocking its rotor blades on April 7, 2021.

NASA’s Mars Helicopter Ingenuity is viewed by the Perseverance rover after unlocking its rotor blades on April 7, 2021.
(Image credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

NASA has delayed the principle flight of its Mars helicopter Ingenuity after the vehicle’s final take a look at ended sooner than deliberate.

Ingenuity will now remain planted firmly on the Red Planet’s surface except not not up to Wednesday (April 14), per a direct from the agency. The extend comes per an anomaly at some stage in a take a look at that changed into as soon as meant to seem the helicopters blades reach flight-love speeds of two,400 revolutions per minute.

“Right by a excessive-velocity jog take a look at of the rotors on Friday, the show sequence controlling the take a look at ended early as a consequence of a ‘watchdog’ timer expiration,” NASA officers wrote in a direct on the fresh time (April 10). “This came about as it changed into as soon as attempting to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode. The helicopter is safe and wholesome and communicated its fleshy telemetry plan to Earth.”

Connected: Look NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity take a look at its blades! (video)

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The direct adds that helicopter engineers are aloof reviewing data from the little chopper to treasure precisely what came about, but that the crew hopes to reschedule the failed take a look at.

Ingenuity arrived on the outside of Mars on Feb. 18, ferried to the Red Planet as a technology demonstration project by NASA’s vehicle-sized Perseverance rover. After the rover got positioned at its landing position in Jezero Crater, it plan about procuring for an airfield for the helicopter’s ancient flight. After arriving there, the rover plan about the cautious course of of unfolding and deploying the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) helicopter.

The Perseverance rover captured this image of the Ingenuity helicopter during preflight preparations on April 9, 2021.

The Perseverance rover captured this image of the Ingenuity helicopter at some stage in preflight preparations on April 9, 2021. (Image credit score: NASA/JPL-Caltech/ASU)

Ingenuity then had to notch quite so much of milestones, including surviving the frigid Martian night on its bear, powered by vitality its solar panels harvested. Engineers additionally unlocked the helicopter’s blades and examined them at a low velocity, factual 50 revolutions per minute.

On Friday (April 9), the helicopter attempted to ascertain its blades at fleshy velocity, the closing precursor to chickening out, but that changed into as soon as the course of that the watchdog timer lower immediate.

“The watchdog timer oversees the show sequence and signals the machine to any doable concerns,” NASA officers wrote in the direct. “It helps the machine contend with safe by not persevering with if a explain is noticed and worked as deliberate.”

Electronic mail Meghan Bartels at or notice her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Put collectively us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

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