NASA regains connection with mini-helicopter on Mars

Science  |
Editor : Ahmet Erarslan
| Last update :

The team is now scrutinizing the data to comprehend the unexpected communication dropout during Flight 72

NASA regains connection with mini-helicopter on Mars

NASA has restored communication with its mini-helicopter on Mars after an unexpected loss of connection raised concerns about the craft's well-being.

The Ingenuity drone, which landed on Mars in 2021 alongside the Perseverance rover, experienced a sudden communication blackout during its 72nd flight on the planet.

However, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory reported the re-establishment of contact on Saturday, saying that Perseverance was commanded to conduct prolonged listening sessions to reconnect with Ingenuity.

The team is now scrutinizing the data to comprehend the unexpected communication dropout during Flight 72.

Ingenuity's 72nd flight served as a test mission to assess the craft's systems following an unscheduled landing in a prior flight.

NASA reported that the drone reached an altitude of 12 meters (40 feet) but encountered issues during descent, leading to an early termination of communication between the helicopter and rover before touchdown.

While Perseverance was temporarily "out of line-of-sight with Ingenuity," the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) suggested the possibility of driving closer for a visual inspection.

Responding to inquiries about Ingenuity's future flights, JPL stated on Saturday that a thorough assessment of the new data is needed before making any determinations.

NASA has encountered previous instances of losing communication with the helicopter. Mars, renowned as a "graveyard for spacecraft" due to potent dust storms and unstable terrain, poses challenges that can damage rovers and technology.

Despite these harsh conditions, Ingenuity has demonstrated remarkable durability.

Enduring frigid Martian nights, the mini craft relies on solar panels to recharge its batteries during daylight hours.

Surpassing its initial goal of five successful flights over 30 days, Ingenuity has completed 72 flights since it arrived in 2021, covering more than 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) and reaching altitudes of up to 24 meters.

Weighing a mere 1.8 kilograms (3.9 pounds), the drone serves as an aerial scout, supporting the Perseverance rover in its exploration for potential signs of ancient microbial life or other discoveries on the Red Planet.

Source: Newsroom


WARNING: Comments that contain insults, swearing, offensive sentences or allusions, attacks on beliefs, are not written with spelling rules, do not use Turkish characters and are written in capital letters are not approved.