NASA says it should set a brand new Ingenuity flight date subsequent week, software program replace wanted on Mars helicopter


NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) mentioned Monday night time that its Ingenuity Mars helicopter was in want of a software program replace and {that a} new date for its historic flight can be introduced subsequent week. 

In a launch, the company mentioned that the Ingenuity crew had recognized a software program answer for the “command sequence subject” first found on Friday, April, 9, throughout considered one of its final rotor assessments — a “high-speed spin-up check” — earlier than its beforehand introduced April 11 flight date. 

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JPL mentioned that over the weekend it had examined a number of potential options and decided that “minor modification and reinstallation of Ingenuity’s flight management software program is probably the most sturdy path ahead.”

The deliberate replace will alter the best way by which the helicopter’s two flight controllers begin up and permit each {hardware} and software program to “safely transition to the flight state.” 

As well as, it famous that whereas modifications to the flight software program and its improvement are “easy,” validating the adjustments and finishing the uplink to Ingenuity is anticipated to take some time and a timeline for rescheduling the helicopter’s assessments are nonetheless in progress.

So as to attain the specified end result, and transfer the brand new software program to the automobile, the crew should develop, validate and add software program, load the software program onto the Ingenuity flight controllers and boot it on the brand new software program.

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“As soon as now we have handed these milestones, we’ll put together Ingenuity for its first flight, which is able to take a number of sols, or Mars days. Our greatest estimate of a focused flight date is fluid proper now, however we’re working towards attaining these milestones and can set a flight date subsequent week,” the crew mentioned.

“We’re assured within the crew’s skill to work by means of this problem and put together for Ingenuity’s historic first managed powered flight on one other planet,” JPL mentioned. 

It famous that Ingenuity continues to be wholesome on the pink planet, with important features remaining secure, and that challenges usually are not surprising utilizing a “high-risk, high-reward method.”

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“Within the meantime, whereas the Ingenuity crew does its work, Perseverance will proceed to do science with its suite of devices and is gearing up for a check of the MOXIE know-how demonstration,” it mentioned. 

NASA mentioned Ingenuity had deployed to the Martian floor and survived its first night time exterior of the rover final week. Perseverance efficiently landed on Mars on Thursday, February 18.

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