Landing damage ends Ingenuity helicopter mission on Mars

He NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter on Marswhich in 2021 became the first controlled powered aircraft in another world, has reached completed his mission after receiving damage upon landing.

“Although the helicopter remains upright and in contact with ground controllers, images of its January 18 flight sent back to Earth this week show “One or more of its rotor blades were damaged during landing and it is no longer capable of flight.”NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) explained in a statement.

Originally designed as a technology demonstration to perform up to five experimental test flights over 30 days, the first off-world aircraft operated from the surface of Mars for nearly three years. made 72 flights and flew more than 14 times further than planned, with a total flight time of more than two hours.

Ingenuity landed on Mars on February 18, 2021, and was docked on the belly of NASA’s Perseverance rover. and took off from the surface of Mars for the first time on April 19, demonstrating that controlled, powered flight is possible on Mars.

After completing four more flights, The plane, half a meter tall and weighing 1.8 kilograms, set off on a new mission as a demonstration of military operations. served as an aerial reconnaissance mission for scientists and drivers of the Perseverance rovers. .

The Ingenuity team planned for the helicopter to make a short vertical flight on January 18 to determine its location after a forced landing during a previous flight. The data shows that, as expected, The helicopter reached a maximum altitude of 12 meters and hovered for 4.5 seconds, and then began descending at a speed of 1 meter per second.


However, at about 1 meter above the surface, Ingenuity lost contact with the rover, which serves as a communications relay for the helicopter. The next day, communications were restored and additional information about the flight was relayed to ground controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Days later, images emerged showing damage to the rotor blade. “The cause of the communication failure and the helicopter’s orientation during landing are still under investigation,” JPL said.

During an extended mission lasting nearly 1,000 Martian days, more than 33 times longer than originally planned, Ingenuity was enhanced by the ability to autonomously select landing sites in hazardous terrain, cope with a failed sensor, clean up after dust storms, operate from 48 different airfields, make three emergency landings, and survive the cold Martian winter. In just 128 minutes of flight, he covered 17 kilometers.

Designed to work in the Martian spring, Ingenuity was unable to turn on its heaters overnight during the coldest periods of winter., which leads to periodic freezing and restarting of the on-board computer. These “power outages” required the team to redesign Ingenuity’s winter operations in order to continue flying.

Once flight operations are completed, the Ingenuity team will conduct final tests of the helicopter’s systems and load the remaining images and data into Ingenuity’s on-board memory. The Perseverance rover is currently too far away to attempt to photograph the helicopter at the final airfield.

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button