I held my breath for a moment on January 18, when scientists announced that they had lost contact with Perseverance Mars rover's friend Ingenuity.
Ingenuity was about to complete its 72nd flight, a liftoff that far exceeded the “borrowed time” threshold in this case, as the mighty vehicle was originally built for a maximum duration of Five trips. As much as cleverness He was Somewhat uncertain For a short period.
However, I'm happy to report that Ingenuity has done just that Communications were officially restored With ground control and continues to exceed the limitations that scientists thought he would need to live. According to NASA on January 20 Share on X (formerly Twitter) Perseverance conducted long-term listening sessions to help identify Ingenuity's signal. “The team is reviewing new data to better understand the unexpected communications outage during Flight 72,” the post says.
Related: NASA loses contact with the Ingenuity Mars helicopter
Ingenuity was launched to the surface of Mars alongside the Perseverance rover on July 30, 2020. It landed on its target less than a year later, and soon began its mission to fly over the red planet to gather information about whether it was possible to control an airborne vehicle. A vehicle in a world with a different gravity and atmosphere than those on Earth.
Thanks to Ingenuity's success, scientists have concluded that such a feat is indeed possible. But after five planned flights surrounding this particular mission, it became clear that Ingenuity had plenty of energy left in it. And it kept flying… and flying… and flying until, as we see, it ended its amazing 72nd flight. It has since expanded greatly in its purpose as well, becoming both magnificent and decisive. the pictures The area of Mars that Perseverance has been tasked with exploring. It's an area called Jezero Crater, and it's believed to have been once flooded.
This little helicopter communicates with NASA's Ground Control Center via the Deep Space Network, the classic line through which tons of space missions talk to scientists on Earth.
NASA explained that everything seemed fine during the 72nd probe's jump on the red surface of Mars, as it successfully ascended to the maximum expected height of 40 feet (12 meters) and reached its ascent status with Perseverance. But during landing, “communication between the helicopter and the rover was lost early, before landing,” the agency said in a statement. statement.
However, this glitch is in the past, so I (and I'm sure many others around the world) can stop holding my breath. Hopefully we'll get some answers as to why the situation arose in the first place, but in the meantime, Ingenuity continues to prove its resilience.
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