Rescheduled NASA Mars Helicopter Flight Monday Morning – NBC Los Angeles
NASA officials said on Saturday they were targeting on Monday a historic flight of a small helicopter to Mars that was postponed last weekend due to a technical glitch.
The 4-pound helicopter named Ingenuity is now scheduled for approximately 12:30 p.m. PDT Monday.
A livestream will begin at 3:15 a.m. PDT as the helicopter team prepares to receive downlink data at the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, NASA said on Saturday.
Ingenuity was designed and built at JPL. It was scheduled to make its historic first flight – the first to another world – on April 11, but the mission was delayed due to a problem with a spin test of its rotors.
After its historic landing, the Mars rover returns incredible sights and sounds. Kim Baldonado reports on February 22, 2021.
“During the high-speed spin test, the streak ended early in the transition from ‘pre-flight’ to ‘flight’ mode,” mission officials tweeted. “The helicopter is safe and healthy. The team is in the process of diagnosing the problem. ”
On April 12, the helicopter management team “identified a software solution” for the problem, according to NASA. “Over the weekend, the team reviewed and tested several potential solutions to this problem, concluding that minor modification and reinstallation of Ingenuity’s flight control software is the most robust route to take,” according to a NASA blog post.
“This software update will change the process by which the two flight controllers start, allowing hardware and software to safely transition to flight state.”
Growing up in South Los Angeles, Luis Dominguez never imagined working at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. Kim Baldonado reports for NBC4 News at 4 p.m. on February 15, 2021.
The software update was tested at JPL earlier this week.
NASA officials said it will take some time to validate the software and then connect it to the helicopter. The helicopter’s first flight should be short. It is expected to take off at a height of about 10 feet, where it will hover for 30 seconds, then return to the planet’s surface.
Ingenuity has no scientific instrumentation on board. This is strictly a demonstration mission to determine the feasibility of exploiting such a device on other planets. The helicopter was flown to Mars strapped to the belly of the Perseverance rover, which will train its cameras on Ingenuity to record the flight when it occurs.