On planet Mars, NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter was supposed to begin its fourth flight yesterday afternoon, Thursday, April 29. But things did not go as planned. The little helicopter failed to take off, and NASA is currently racking its brains to figure out what happened.
While Ingenuity had barely made a third record flight of 50 meters and over 7 km / h, he has just completed miss the take off of his fourth. The 1.8-kilogram helicopter was due to take off from the ground of Jezero de Mars crater yesterday at around 4:12 p.m. (Paris time), marking its fourth flight from the Red Planet. It just did not happen. NASA experts are currently investigating the reasons for this problem.
Ingenuity misses fourth flight, NASA investigates
« Aim high and fly, fly again. The ambitious fourth flight of the #MarsHelicopter did not work, but the team is evaluating the data and will try to try again soon. We will keep you posted »Specifies on Twitter the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of NASA, located in southern California, which manages the mission of Ingenuity. Indeed, the small helicopter missed its fourth take-off yesterday.
Located about 60 million kilometers from us, the Ingenuity helicopter needed a little updating some time ago to be able to fly properly. NASA had thus modified its remote control sequence, a fix estimated to be effective about 85% of the time.
See also: Perseverance on Mars: Selfie with Ingenuity reveals the impressive size of the rover
To this day, NASA scientists are still looking for the causes of this failure, even if it seems likely that this famous command sequence is the cause. The teams are committed to quickly finding a solution.
Even so, Ingenuity will have landed with NASA’s Perseverance rover on February 18, inside Jezero crater, 45 kilometers wide. A crater that once housed a large lake as well as a river delta. The helicopter has already made three flights to date, one on April 19, a second on April 22 and a final on April 25. These increasingly ambitious releases should stop within the next few weeks.