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NASA’s Mars Helicopter Determined To not Take Its 14th Flight

NASA’s Mars helicopter, Ingenuity, pulled out of taking its subsequent flight after recognizing a problem shortly earlier than take-off.

Ingenuity arrived on Mars with NASA’s Perseverance rover in February, and two months later turned the primary plane to attain managed, powered flight on one other planet. Since then, the 4-pound, 19-inch-tall machine has been zipping throughout the martian floor on a sequence of take a look at flights which have seen it carry out nicely past expectations.

However because the workforce lately prepped Ingenuity for its 14th flight, the helicopter “determined to not take off,” in response to Jaakko Karras of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), which is overseeing the present Mars mission.

Ingenuity determined to remain put as a result of it detected an anomaly in two of its six flight-control servo motors throughout its computerized pre-flight checkout.

Ingenuity’s 14th flight is of nice curiosity as it’s going to see the plane spin its rotors quicker than ever earlier than. The rise from the same old 2,537 revolutions per minute (rpm) will compensate for the lowering atmospheric density led to by seasonal modifications on the purple planet.

JPL efficiently carried out a ground-based, high-speed spin take a look at at 2,800 rpm earlier this month. The following flight try will hopefully happen by the top of October and can see Ingenuity carry out a brief hover at 2,700 rpm to check the reliability of the quicker rotor velocity.

“Growing the rotor velocity is a big change to how we’ve been flying to this point,” Karras mentioned, including that it’s necessary for the workforce to “proceed fastidiously.”

He added that the workforce is “optimistic” that it could work by way of the difficulty and get Ingenuity again within the air, although the following flight try gained’t happen till mid-October on the earliest. The delay is because of a short lived degradation of the communications hyperlink between Earth and Mars attributable to the orbits of the 2 planets as they transfer to reverse sides of the solar, an occasion that happens as soon as each two years.

Ingenuity already has some first rate missions below its belt, flying a formidable 2,051 toes (625 meters) on July 5, and staying within the air for a report 169.5 seconds on August 16.

Following its success, it’s anticipated {that a} extra superior model of the helicopter will help rovers on future planetary missions, scouting areas of curiosity and checking the situation of the terrain for the ground-based autos.

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