NASA has behind schedule the primary flight of its Mars helicopter Ingenuity after the car’s remaining take a look at ended previous than deliberate.
Ingenuity will now stay planted firmly at the Red Planet’s floor till no less than Wednesday (April 14), in accordance to a observation from the company. The prolong is available in reaction to an anomaly right through a take a look at that used to be intended to see the helicopters blades succeed in flight-like speeds of two,400 revolutions in keeping with minute.
“During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a ‘watchdog’ timer expiration,” NASA officers wrote in a observation nowadays (April 10). “This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode. The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.”
Related: Watch NASA’s Mars helicopter Ingenuity take a look at its blades! (video)
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The observation provides that helicopter engineers are nonetheless reviewing information from the little chopper to perceive exactly what befell, however that the group hopes to reschedule the failed take a look at.
Ingenuity arrived at the floor of Mars on Feb. 18, ferried to the Red Planet as a generation demonstration challenge by means of NASA’s car-sized Perseverance rover. After the rover were given located at its touchdown web site in Jezero Crater, it set about on the lookout for an airfield for the helicopter’s ancient flight. After arriving there, the rover set in regards to the cautious strategy of unfolding and deploying the 4-lb. (1.8 kilograms) helicopter.
Ingenuity then had to notch a number of milestones, together with surviving the chilly Martian night time by itself, powered by means of power its sun panels harvested. Engineers additionally unlocked the helicopter’s blades and examined them at a low velocity, simply 50 revolutions in keeping with minute.
On Friday (April 9), the helicopter tried to take a look at its blades at complete velocity, the overall precursor to taking flight, however that used to be the process that the watchdog timer lower brief.
“The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues,” NASA officers wrote within the observation. “It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned.”
Email Meghan Bartels at firstname.lastname@example.org or observe her on Twitter @meghanbartels. Follow us on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.