NASA delayed its first experimental flight to Mars until at least April 14 after receiving data from Mars helicopter ‘Ingenuity,’ Axios reports.
"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 said in a statement. "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."
The Ingenuity made it to the planet's surface in February attached to the underbelly of the Perseverance rover.
The NASA Ingenuity team is attempting to diagnose and understand the issue by reviewing the craft’s telemetry to Earth. Another full speed rotor test will follow shortly after diagnosis of the issue has been completed, said NASA.
When Ingenuity finally flies on Mars, it will set a record as the first aircraft in human history to take flight on another planet. The success of this mission opens the door to a new type of planetary exploration, stated Axios.
During its inaugural flight, Ingenuity, whose structure includes a tiny piece of fabric from a wing of the Wright Brothers' aircraft, ‘Flyer,’ is to rise about 10 feet into the Martian atmosphere and remain there for about 30 seconds taking photos and collecting data while under way.
After that time, it will slowly descend and land back on Martian soil. Should the test succeed, additional flights will be planned and executed, with NASA planning to livestream the data analysis from the flight, Axios reported.
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