326 Interactions, 4 today
NASA placed the flight on hold after a test posed enough concerns.
To see NASA’s Mars helicopter in motion, you’ll have to wait a bit longer. After a test on April 9th went wrong, the agency has postponed Ingenuity’s first flight to “no earlier than” April 14th. The high-speed spin test was cut short when a watchdog timer (meant to detect technical issues) expired when the helicopter was switching to flight mode.
NASA emphasised that Ingenuity was “safe and healthy,” and that it was analysing telemetry from the vehicle to figure out what happened and when the first flight could take place.
The first flight was supposed to take place late on April 11th. If the plan is carried out, the flight will consist of a 30-second hover at 10 feet. Four further flights are scheduled to take place over the next 30 days.
This is obviously not what NASA desired. The mission team, on the other hand, has every reason to be vigilant. This will be the first time a spacecraft has flown on the Martian surface, and progress will pave the way for potential flying explorers.