NASA postpones flight of its Ingenuity helicopter on Mars

(ORDO NEWS) — Based on the latest data, NASA decided to postpone the first experimental flight of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter until April 14.

The 1.8-kilogram helicopter was scheduled to take off from Mars’ crater Jezero on Sunday, April 11, hovering 3 meters above the Martian surface for 30 seconds.

NASA flight control specialists are currently awaiting the first data from the first flight attempt.

The small helicopter makes itself felt to the whole world, and the space powers are watching its preparations for an unprecedented first flight. We are doing technical demonstrations to expand our experience and provide something that the next missions to Mars can build on, ”said Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy administrator for science at NASA headquarters.

During the high speed rotor rotation test, the sequence of commands controlling the test ended early due to the expiration of the watchdog timer. This happened while he was trying to switch the on-board computer from pre-flight mode to flight mode. The helicopter transmitted a complete set of telemetry to the ground safe and sound.

A watchdog timer monitors the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential problems. This helps the system stay safe without continuing to operate. If no problem is observed, the machine is operating according to the established plan.

A NASA helicopter team is studying telemetry to diagnose and understand the problem. The helicopter test will then begin at full speed.

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