The historic flight of a four-pound NASA helicopter trying to hover over the surface of Mars on Sunday was delayed by at least a few days on Saturday, officials said.
“The first flight attempt of #MarsHelicopter was delayed by April 14. During the high-speed spin test, the sequence ended early during the transition from” preflight “mode to” flight “mode. Helicopters are safe and healthy. The team is diagnosing the problem, “said NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory mission manager on Saturday.
The helicopter separated from the Perseverance rotors carried to Red Planet last weekend and underwent a series of operational tests last week, including rotor rotation.
Ingenuity planned to take off from the surface of Mars at 7:54 pm California time on Sunday. The plan was for the helicopter to rise 10 feet above the surface of the planet and hover for 30 seconds before returning to Mars.
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Ingenuity is not equipped with scientific instruments. Determining the feasibility of operating such an aircraft on other planets is strictly a demonstration mission. Thomas Zurbuchen, Deputy Director of Science at NASA Headquarters, said:
“We are demonstrating technology like this, pushing the boundaries of our experience and providing something that the next mission and the next generation can build. As Ingenuity was inspired by the Wright brothers, Future explorers will take off using both data and inspiration from this mission. ”
In fact, the helicopter intended to carry the history of the Wright brothers. Wrapped in a cable under the helicopter’s solar panels is a small cloth covering the wings of Orville and Wilbur Wright’s “Flyer,” the first flight on Earth that pioneered air travel in 1903. It is a sample of.
If the Ingenuity flight finally occurs, it will take more than 5 hours for the JPL mission manager to receive the first data from the flight attempt. Upon receiving that data, the mission manager can measure the success of the test and decide how to proceed with additional flights.
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Helicopter flight is completely autonomous, making it impossible for the distance to Mars to control flight from JPL headquarters in Pasadena.
Radio signals take more than 15 minutes to travel 173 million miles to Mars. JPL commands to the helicopter are actually relayed by the Perseverance Rover. The rover is parked approximately 215 feet from Ingenuity and monitors the flight with cameras. The helicopter itself is in the middle of a 33ft x 33ft airfield selected for unobstructed terrain.
Ingenuity is also equipped with a camera that records the flight.
The command from Perseverance tells Ingenuity to start spinning the rotor and it takes 12 seconds to reach a speed of 2,537 rpm. The helicopter is then instructed to change the pitch of the rotor blades to allow takeoff.
Flight on another planet is very different from flight on Earth, with Mars’ gravity being about one-third that of Earth, while the surface atmosphere is about one-third the density of Earth, mission managers say. I’m pointing out.
Historic Perseverance Mars Helicopter Flight Delayed – NBC Los Angeles Source link Historic Perseverance Mars Helicopter Flight Delayed – NBC Los Angeles