The first flight of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter was postponed due to technical problems.
NASA's Ingenuity Mars helicopter could fly at some point next week, according to scientists working on the project. In a public question and answer session posted online by NASA, Thomas Zurbuchen, Associate Administrator of the NASA Scientific Mission Directorate, and MiMi Aung, Ingenuity Project Manager, provided updates on the status of the mission.
The first helicopter flight Ingenuity Mars was delayed until April 14, NASA announced. However, the project received another postponement. The reason for the delay is that engineers encountered a software problem when performing pre-flight tests. A solution was identified, but it meant reinstalling the small helicopter's flight software.
"The team is actively looking at a lot of options and is really making progress in addressing the issue that stopped us." The problem is with a system on board the helicopter, which is there to make sure the computers are working properly. It does this using a very precise synchronization system, but one that is not easy to synchronize.
Thomas zurbuchen said that such timing variations happen sometimes and are not exclusive to Ingenuity Mars. "These things are really happening, these timing issues. I remember having one on one of the instruments I built in the past, so it only happens in space. ”
When Ingenuity Mars it will fly, it will be the first flight of a motor aircraft on another planet. NASA hopes that this technology could be used in the future with other Mars helicopters, which could be used to transport things.