The Ingenuity helicopter's sensor has failed and is no longer flying. What decisions will be made?

Credit image: NASA
Credit image: NASA

Article by: Andacs Robert Eugen, on 08 June 2022, at 11:20 am Los Angeles time

NASA recently announced the failure of a sensor of the Mars Ingenuity helicopter, a challenge for the technical team that controls the helicopter.

In an announcement, the NASA team handling the small instrument on Mars said it would most likely need a computer patch to restore helicopter flights.

Since reaching Mars, Ingenuity has taken 28 flights to the red planet and is expected to fly 30 by the end of the year, hoping to reach 40.

But that of course depends on many factors, both Martian and NASA's scientific goals.

According to scientists, Ingenuity has not been designed for a very long time.

It was expected to last a year, a year or so on Mars, but the US space agency recently extended the helicopter's mission to the end of the year.

Due to the short duration of this mission, no major measures were taken to repair the helicopter or anything else of a technical nature.

In any case, Håvard Grip, the project's chief helicopter pilot, claimed that his team designed a patch that he attached to the helicopter in the event of a malfunction. The patch is meant to use information from other sensors to trick the helicopter into believing that it is receiving data from the inclinometer, thus resuming flights.

Sandstorms on Mars and extreme temperatures that vary widely during the day and night can affect or even damage the components of the very fragile helicopter.

Thanks to the team that thought of such possibilities and created this patch.

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