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The creativity helicopter ran into trouble on its sixth flight to Mars, but survived

The creativity helicopter ran into trouble on its sixth flight to Mars, but survived

“The innovative helicopter made its sixth flight on May 22. An anomaly occurred 54 seconds after the flight. Despite this defect, the helicopter landed safely approximately five meters from the intended location,” space specialist Michel Vaclavík of the Czech Space Office summed up on Twitter with it.

According to the previously announced plan, the helicopter the size of a small unmanned aircraft was to climb again to a height of ten meters during the next flight and cover a total distance of about 215 to 220 meters.

It was also scheduled to reach a speed of 14.4 kilometers per hour, and stay above the ground for about 140 seconds, and also land for the first time in a place that had not been “seen” by the machine in its previous years.

In the end “something happened”

Telemetry data in the sixth demonstration of the flight of Ingenuity’s capabilities show that, according to a JPL statement, the first 150-meter portion of the marked trail ran smoothly. Only in the end something happened.

According to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the sixth flight ended with a safe landing due to the fact that a number of subsystems – rotor, actuator and power system – responded well to the increasing requirements to keep the machine in flight.

Useful data for NASA

The laboratory noted that “in a very real sense, Ingenuity dealt with this situation, and while the flight identified a security hole in the timing system that would now need to be addressed, it confirmed the quality of the system in a number of ways.”

“Although we did not intentionally plan for such a stressful flight, NASA now has flight data that examines the maximum limits of helicopter performance. These data will be carefully analyzed in the coming period, which will expand our knowledge about helicopter flights on Mars.” Jet Propulsion Laboratory added.

An Ingenuity helicopter landed on Mars on February 18th with the Perseverance rover, but it has a separate program. It is not equipped with scientific instruments, and its task is to test the possibility of using similar flying devices in the future when examining the surface of extraterrestrial objects.

The Creativity Mission team initially expected the tests to only last 30 days, but at the end of April, after three successful years, they decided to add at least another 30 days. The fourth and fifth year were also successful.

A Chinese robotic vehicle collided with the surface of the Red Planet

China became only the second country after the United States to have a properly functioning Mars device. According to Reuters, this is the first time that a country has been able to put a satellite in orbit during its first mission to Mars and at the same time successfully land on the surface using a research vehicle.

China’s Mars Tiananmen mission began last July with a launch from the China Wenchang Space Center on Hainan Island. After less than seven months in flight, the spacecraft – made up of a satellite, a lander and a robotic vehicle – managed to reach the specified orbit around the red planet in February.