A small NASA helicopter sent to Mars made an uncontrolled and wobbly flight due to a synchronization failure in navigation, its first major problem since it began flying across the red planet’s sky last month.
Jet Propulsion Laboratory officials said Thursday that the experimental helicopter, called Ingenuity, managed to land safely.
The problem occurred on Saturday, about a minute after the sixth helicopter test flight had passed at a height of 10 meters (33 feet). One of the helicopter’s many images captured by the helicopter’s camera was not recorded by the navigation system, completely changing the timing sequence and confusing the aircraft about its location.
Creativity started tilting back and forth up to 20 degrees and had a spike in power consumption, according to Harvard Grip, the helicopter’s chief pilot.
Grib wrote in an update of information about the device on the Internet, that an integrated system provides an additional margin of stability “came to the rescue.” The helicopter landed 5 meters (16 feet) from where it was supposed to be.
The versatility became the first airliner to make a powered flight on another planet in April, two months after it landed on Mars using NASA’s Rolling Perseverance Probe.
The 1.8 kilogram (4 lb) helicopter efficiently performed the first five flight tests, each one more difficult than its predecessor. NASA has been affected by the $ 85 million tech show that has extended the device’s mission by at least a month.
Saturday’s turbulent flight was the first by helicopter in this additional period. Engineers tackled the problem in recent days.
The Associated Press’s Department of Health and Science receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for the content.
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