NASA lost contact with Ingenuity helicopter on Mars: details
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, the first aircraft to fly to another planet, lost contact with Earth during its last flight. Now the team working on this project is analyzing the available data and considering the next steps to restore communication with the helicopter.
This was reported by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration. The 1.8 kg helicopter was making its 72nd flight to Mars on Thursday (January 18) when it stopped sending data to the Perseverance rover, which acts as a relay station between Ingenuity and Earth.
According to NASA, Ingenuity successfully reached the planned altitude of 12 meters but lost contact with Perseverance during the descent before landing. The cause of the communication failure is unknown, so the Ingenuity team is analyzing the available data and looking for ways to restore communication with the helicopter.
It's worth noting that Ingenuity, which resembles a drone, arrived on Mars in 2021 with the Perseverance rover and became the first helicopter to flyon another planet autonomously.
NASA has lost contact with the helicopter before. This includes two painful months last year.
The helicopter far exceeded its initial goal of making five flights within 30 days on the Red Planet.
In total, it traveled just over 17 kilometers and reached an altitude of 24 meters.
Its durability has proven impressive, especially when you consider that it must survive the icy-cold Martian nights while being warmed by solar panels that charge it during the day.
Working in tandem with Perseverance, Ingenuity acted as an aerial scout, helping its wheeled companion in search of possible signs of ancient microbial life.