NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter was scheduled to take a flight to move further on Thursday. But, the small helicopter has failed to take off for its fourth flight. However, the team has reported that the helicopter is safe and remains in good condition.
After the failure, the NASA has planned for the helicopter to try again on Friday. According to the reports, Ingenuity’s this specific flight was going to be the daring one as it was supposed to be pushed further, faster and longer than before.
NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory updated via Twitter on Thursday, “Aim high, and fly, fly again. The Mars Helicopter’s ambitious fourth flight didn’t get off the ground, but the team is assessing the data and will aim to try again soon. We’ll keep you posted,”
NASA also said, “Today’s delay is in line with that expectation and does not prevent future flight.”
Ingenuity’s fourth flight was scheduled on Thursday at 10:12 a.m. ET, or 12:30 p.m. local Mars time. But, the data that was sent back by the helicopter at 1:21 p.m. ET Thursday showed that the helicopter failed to transition to flight mode. Besides, the team believes that the software issue that caused the delay in the first flight is the same reason behind this failure.
Precisely, the reason behind the failure was a glitch reported with the aircraft’s “watchdog timer”. It alerts Ingenuity to potential problems and pauses its processes if it thinks it has detected an error.
With the fourth flight, Ingenuity was expected to climb to the height of 16 feet, and then fly south.
As per the reports, NASA has scheduled another attempt of the fourth flight for Friday at 10:46 a.m. ET, or 12:30 p.m. local Mars time. The control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California will receive the first flight at 1:39 p.m. ET.
Other than that, in order to discuss future plans for Ingenuity, NASA and JPL officials are expected/scheduled to hold a media briefing on Friday.