NASA postpones first flight of its Ingenuity helicopter until April 14 at the earliest

NASA postpones first flight of its Ingenuity helicopter until April 14 at the earliest

Mars is the center of attention today. NASA sent a very special mission there, with a helicopter, a great first. Unfortunately, Ingenuity’s mission appears to have some ignition delay.

Many space agencies are currently targeting the red planet. The missions multiply around Mars. The NASA recently succeeded in landing its Perseverance rover, as part of its major Mars 2020 mission.

The latter was carrying with it a small helicopter by the name of Ingenuity. Unfortunately, a first test triggered some alerts. It will therefore be necessary to wait before attending his first flight.

NASA postpones first Ingenuity helicopter flight

It will therefore be necessary to wait longer than expected to see the Ingenuity helicopter in action a few meters from the ground of Mars. The US space agency postponed its first flight to April 14, “at the earliest”, after a failed test on April 9.

The high-speed spin test was terminated prematurely after a warning system was triggered as the helicopter was about to enter flight mode.

NASA says Ingenuity is doing “absolutely fine”. The agency is working to study all of the vehicle’s data to try to understand what happened and determine a precise date for this long-awaited first flight.

The team in charge of the mission does not wish to take any risks

The first flight in question was originally scheduled for April 11. If all goes well, Ingenuity should perform a 30 second flyby at an altitude of 3 meters high. Four more flights are then scheduled for the next 30 days.

Still, this alert was clearly not in the plans of NASA. However, the team in charge of the mission has every reason in the world to take maximum precautions. This test will be a great first: the first time that a vehicle has flown over the surface of Mars. A success which, if it does, could pave the way for future flying exploration missions.