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 secure and in good well being,” mentioned a press release, including the rotorcraft had did not transition to “flight mode.”
The group plans to aim the flight as soon as extra on Friday at 10:46am Jap Time (8:16pm IST) with information anticipated again at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory round three hours later.
The software program problem is regarded as 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 rationale 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 accurately – however estimated there was a 15 % probability it might not work on every flight try.
“Immediately’s delay is in keeping with that expectation and doesn’t stop future flight,” NASA mentioned.
Since reaching Mars in February underneath the stomach of the Perseverance rover, the four-pound (1.8 kilograms) helicopter has made three profitable flights.
The final, which befell Sunday, noticed it transfer sooner and additional than ever earlier than, with a peak velocity of 6.6 ft (two metres) per second. It lined 64 ft (50 metres) of distance.
Ingenuity’s flights are difficult due to situations vastly completely 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 predominant activity: looking for indicators of previous microbial life on Mars.