NASA delays Mars helicopter flight to at least April 14th

by Jeremy

You’ll have to wait a bit longer to see NASA’s Mars helicopter in action. The agency has delayed Ingenuity’s first flight to “no earlier than” April 14th after a test on April 9th went awry. The high-speed spin test finished prematurely after a watchdog timer (meant to catch technical issues) expired while transitioning the helicopter to its flight mode.

NASA stressed that Ingenuity was “safe and healthy” and reviewed telemetry from the vehicle to understand what happened and determine when the first flight might occur.

The initial flight was initially slated for late April 11th. If the plan moves forward, the flight will be a 30-second hover at 10 feet. Four more flights are in the pipeline over a total span of 30 days.

This isn’t what NASA wanted. The mission team has every incentive to be cautious, however. This test will represent the first time a vehicle has flown on the Martian surface — a success here will pave the way for future flying explorers.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment