NASA’s Ingenuity Helicopter of Mars 2020 project recently performed its 4th of its 5 planned flights successfully. With this, it has completed its month-long technology demonstration. Now, it is to begin its new phase. The new phase is called operation demonstration phase. So far it was in its technology demonstration phase.

New Mission of Ingenuity

Under the new phase, the Ingenuity helicopter is to explore how aerial scouting will benefit future explorations of Red Planet. Aerial Scouting is gathering information. This is to begin after two flights of the helicopter.

National Aeronautics and Space Administration had initially planned to conduct only 5 flights. This operation demonstration phase was planned after Ingenuity completed its flights successfully.

Under the new phase, Ingenuity will support the Perseverance rover as it begins its flight. It will make aerial observations and help Perseverance rover in its mobility on the Martian surface.

Implications

  • The Ingenuity Helicopter is to make greater use of its aerial observation capabilities.
  • It is to face more risks flying in a low atmospheric condition.

Fourth Flight

The last second flight of Ingenuity helicopter was postponed to 30th April 2021 due to a software glitch. It was earlier planned to the be held on 25th April 2021. However, the last second flight has now been completed successfully. In its fourth flight Ingenuity climbed 5 metres and crossed 84 metres of distance. During its flight, Ingenuity captured more images than its previous flights. The issue was around the watchdog timer. Watchdog timers are used to detect and recover from computer malfunctions.

NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter begins a new phase NASA Ingenuity Mars Helicopter begins a new phase