NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter is scheduled to lift off no sooner than April 14 in the first-ever attempt at powered, controlled flight on another planet, a delay from its initial planned launch date.
While lift-off was initially targeted for Sunday, April 11, the agency announced the delay on Saturday afternoon.
In a release, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) explained that the decision was made based on data that arrived late Friday night.
“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. This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode,” they explained. “The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.”
NEWS: We're now targeting no earlier than Wednesday, April 14, for our Ingenuity #MarsHelicopter’s attempt at the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. Details: https://t.co/LaoY7zyijY pic.twitter.com/TIwlZ3foD1
— NASA (@NASA) April 10, 2021
The guard dog clock supervises the order arrangement and alarms to any likely issues. It additionally helps the framework stay protected by not continuing if an issue is noticed.
“The helicopter group is assessing telemetry to analyze and comprehend the issue. Following that, they will reschedule the max throttle test,” they said.
In a pre-flight news gathering on Friday, agents from both JPL Ingenuity and Perseverance Mars wanderer groups expressed their energy for the memorable occasion.
Thomas Zurbuchen, a partner overseer for science at NASA Headquarters, said a selfie picture taken of the wanderer and rotorcraft showed the group was “prepared” and that the flight would “truly change the direction of what’s conceivable” in space investigation.
Creativity Project Manager MiMi Aung gave a report on Ingenuity’s pre-flight progress, taking note of that the self-sufficient helicopter had been effectively re-energizing its sun based controlled battery and speaking with Perseverance.
She said the group had completely affirmed it has sufficient energy and ability to play out the flight test and that they had inspected warm models, turned on sensors and PCs and got done with testing rotor sharp edge activity.
One last checkout test to turn Ingenuity’s rotors at max throttle to the flight RPM (cycles each moment) was booked for Friday and after that they would be “set to go.”
🎶Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle 🎶
With just a little bit of swing, the #MarsHelicopter has moved its blades & spun to 50 rpm in preparation for first flight! Takeoff is slated for April 11, with confirmation expected overnight into April 12 for us Earthlings. https://t.co/TNCdXWcKWE pic.twitter.com/EpDZymjP13
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 9, 2021
“What’s more, we will test, demonstrate and learn paying little mind to what the result is in this first endeavor,” said Aung.
The entire flight will keep going for around 40 seconds. In the event that every last check and environmental conditions look great over the Jezero Crater flight zone, Ingenuity will take off moving at a pace of 3 feet each second, pivot, take pictures with a 13-megapixel camera and float at 10 feet over the surface.
“Thus, we’re truly energized. It very well may be an astounding day. We’re all anxious, however we have certainty that we put in the work and the time and we have the opportune individuals to do the work,” Tim Canham, Ingenuity activities lead, said talking after Aung.
Achievement isn’t a conviction and Ingenuity Chamber Test Engineer Amelia Quon brought up that the red planet’s incredibly cold and slight environment could introduce difficulties for the undertaking.
“It’s around one percent of the thickness of Earth’s environment adrift level. That is what could be compared to around 100,000 feet of elevation on Earth or multiple times the tallness of Mt. Everest,” she clarified. “We don’t commonly fly things that high.”
Aung said that they had picked their flight time considering barometrical obstacles and climate conditions, however Malin Space Science Systems Mastcam-Z Uplink Operations Lead Elsa Jensen said they knew there would in any case be shocks.
“We trust all that will work out positively on Sunday, however we know there will be shocks. That is the thing that we prepared for,” she said.
“It makes me shudder staying here and considering the way that in Sunday my group and I will be taking pictures and video of you all flying on Mars.” said Jensen, grinning.
The helicopter group has a time of 30 Martian days to take up to five flights, each with opportunities to record extra information.
A post-flight instructions is required to happen at 11 a.m. EDT on April 12, however JPL noted in a delivery before a week ago that planning for occasions is liable to change depending on the situation. News Sources FOXNEWSNote: This Site may earn an affiliate commission if you sign up via a link on this page