The two-month silent stretch of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter is over.
Intelligence communicated with its handlers on June 28 via its robotic partner, the Perseverance rover, NASA officials announced today (June 30). It was the first such communication since April 26, when the 4-pound (1.8 kilogram) helicopter went dark on the floor of Mars’ Jezero Crater at the end of its 52nd flight.
„The area of Jezero Crater that the rover and helicopter are currently exploring has a lot of rough terrain, which makes communication interruptions more likely,” said Josh Anderson, director of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. said in a statement today.
„The team’s goal is to put prudence ahead of diligence, which occasionally involves temporarily pushing beyond communication limits,” Anderson added. „We are pleased to be back in communication range with intelligence and to have confirmation of Flight 52.”
Related: Facts about Mars Helicopter Intelligence, the first flight on the red planet
The brilliant 139-second long flight covered 1,191 feet (363 meters) of ground at 52. The main goals of the sequence were to reposition the helicopter and take photographs for the Perseverance science team, NASA officials said.
Newly received flight information indicates that the intelligence is in good health. If further tests are confirmed, the helicopter could fly again in the next few weeks, team members said.
Ingenuity and life-hunting, sample-gathering diligence landed in Jezero in February 2021. The helicopter quickly carried out its primary mission, a five-flight campaign designed to demonstrate that aerial exploration of Mars was possible. Ingenuity then undertakes an extended mission during which it acts as a scout for diligence.
Ingenuity and all its communications must be guided by diligence. This explains the recent quiet spell that both mission teams had hoped for: the rover disappeared behind a mountain from the helicopter’s view and was not seen again until June 28.
Manipulators of ingenuity have recently fought over other communication issues as well. For example, in early April, the helicopter went dark for six days, a surprise dropout that left the mission team in a bit of a sweat.
„Oddany rozwiązywacz problemów. Przyjazny hipsterom praktykant bekonu. Miłośnik kawy. Nieuleczalny introwertyk. Student.