NASA announced on Saturday (17) that it had successfully completed the blade rotation test of the Martian Ingenuity mini-helicopter and is currently reviewing the results. The agency expects to be able to attempt a flight on Monday (19) around Brasília time around 4:30 a.m. In this case, the data from the experiment is expected to reach Earth around 7:15 a.m. and the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) team to hold a post-flight press conference at 3:00 p.m.
The original plan was for a flight last Sunday (11). However, an anomaly during the final rotor test caused the US space agency to push until the 14th. The engineering team then performed a workaround analysis and concluded that the software needed to be changed and reinstalled in ingenuity. A process that couldn’t be fast in and of itself, as it depended on Earth Orbiter, Orbiter Perseverance, and Perseverance Ingenuity connections until it could transmit the data packet to its destination. Then install it and restart the on-board computer with it before you can try again. This confirmed the success of the update, the rescheduling of the flight for Monday (19).
Nothing too surprising about these setbacks; Virtually everything about Ingenuity’s mission is new. Developed as a last-minute add-on to the Perseverance rover on the red planet, it cost $ 85 million – a change from $ 2.8 billion for the main vehicle. But with the promise of a historic achievement: the first self-sufficient aerodynamic flight in another world. Check.
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