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NASA looks into unusual Mars helicopter communications hiccup during flight

NASA’s Ingenuity Mars helicopter discovered its own shadow during its 13th flight on the Red Planet.

NASA / JPL

This story is part of Welcome to Mars, Our series of exploring the red planet.

guess so NASA The lucky Ingenuity helicopter successfully completed its 17th flight on Mars on Sunday, but something unusual happened near the end of the journey. Perseverance Rover and rotorcraft are usually in contact during flight, but when the Ingenuity descended, the radio communication link with the wheeled companion was lost.

It may sound pretty annoying, but the first signs suggest that a helicopter is just right. “Approximately 15 minutes later, Perseverance received some additional Ingenuity telemetry packets indicating that the flight’s electronics and battery were normal.” Teddy Tzanetos, leader of the Ingenuity team, wrote: With a status update on Tuesday.

The Ingenuity team is investigating communication issues, saying “due to the difficulty of configuring the radio between perseverance and Ingenuity at landing.” A combination of various factors, such as the orientation of the rover associated with ingenuity and the hills that may have interfered with the radio signal at the end of the flight, may have caused the problem.

This image and graphic show the Ingenuity takeoff and landing points associated with the Perseverance Rover. Locations labeled “Bra” are hills that may have caused communication interruptions. Topographic maps show the elevation of the landscape between the rotorcraft and the rover.

NASA / JPL-Caltech

Flight 17 of the rotorcraft lasted 117 seconds, and data transferred to Rover so far indicates that it landed in a safe and upright position. The Ingenuity team plans to recover the missing data on Wednesday and perform a final health assessment of the helicopter.

If all goes well, Ingenuity can fly again within a few weeks. It has now returned to its original landing site and is functioning as a patience aerial reconnaissance aircraft.

The helicopter was considered a high-risk, high-reward technical experiment and landed firmly on the high-reward part of the equation.Already successful Overcame some minor technical glitches And it continues to soar in the difficult situation of the Jezero Crater.

Tzanetos expects that this is not the only interruption in Ingenuity’s wireless communications. Star. “

NASA looks into unusual Mars helicopter communications hiccup during flight Source link NASA looks into unusual Mars helicopter communications hiccup during flight

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