Completed NASA’s 17th Ingenuity flight to Mars, with some communication issues

The flights continue March Of NASA ingenuity and, after completing the sixteenth flight in the second half of November, JPL confirmed that the seventeenth attempt succeeded. Unlike the previous move, however, there were a few issues this time around.

nasa ingenuity

The yellow line indicates the trajectory of the drone, the blue line of sight with the rover

I’Martian helicopter he would appear unscathed and should be able to continue his mission (which far exceeded expectations). The unexpected, however, makes us realize how the situation is always very risky and that steal a drone on mars it is not an easy operation nor without uncertainties in spite of the remarkable results obtained by Ingenuity.

THE seventeenth Flight to Mars by NASA Ingenuity

As reported in the official blog of the mission, the drone flew for 187 meters in a northeasterly direction on December 5. At the time of writing, neither the flight log nor the collection of RAW images have been updated with the new information. As written above, during this attempt there was a communication problem.

The link between NASA ingenuity And NASA Perseverance was lost on landing but, after 15 minutes, telemetry was received from the martian rover. This would demonstrate that in reality the drone would be safe and sound in the new landing zone.

drone nasa

The elevation of the terrain between the drone and the rover during the last flight

The first piece of information would demonstrate how the communication problem is related to a “difficult radio configuration” between the two units. However, to have more precise information it will be necessary to analyze the data which it will be necessary to download on the ground. I’Martian helicopter he covered the 187 meters in 117″ at 10 meters maximum altitude. Telemetry reception was interrupted when there was 3 meters (vertical) on the ground.

As the engineers explained, in this test, the communication between NASA ingenuity and the rover had been pushed to its limits. In particular, the radio waves had to overcome a hill (called Arm) and part of the structure itself Perseverance, including its RTG or radioisotope thermoelectric generator. Moreover the vagabond he had moved between the time the flight was planned and the time it was actually carried out, making the operation more complex (but after all the main mission remains that of Perseverance which will always have priority). Telemetry received after landing indicated that the batteries were recharging after landing indicating that all should be “nominal”.

Once the data has been analyzed (expected to arrive on Earth today or shortly thereafter), the 18th flight will be scheduled. This should happen within two weeks, with a displacement of 200 meters. Now we just have to wait for good news from JPL (although there seems to be optimism about the conditions of the drone).

Gift ideas, why waste time and risk making mistakes?