The Ingenuity Mars helicopter’s two-month silent stretch is over.
Ingenuity received in contact with its handlers on June 28 by way of its robotic associate, the Perseverance rover, NASA officers introduced on Friday, June 30. It was the primary such communication since April 26, when the 4-pound (1.8 kilograms) chopper went darkish towards the tip of its 52nd flight on the ground of Mars’ Jezero Crater.
“The portion of Jezero Crater the rover and helicopter are presently exploring has a number of rugged terrain, which makes communications dropouts extra possible,” Ingenuity staff lead Josh Anderson, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, mentioned in a press release.
“The staff’s objective is to maintain Ingenuity forward of Perseverance, which often entails briefly pushing past communication limits,” Anderson added. “We’re excited to be again in communications vary with Ingenuity and obtain affirmation of Flight 52.”
Associated: Info concerning the Mars helicopter Ingenuity, 1st plane to fly on Purple Planet
Ingenuity coated 1,191 ft (363 meters) of floor on the 139-second-long Flight 52. The principle targets of the sortie have been to reposition the chopper and snap images for Perseverance’s science staff, NASA officers mentioned.
The newly acquired flight knowledge recommend that Ingenuity stays in good well being. If additional checkouts verify that, the chopper may fly once more throughout the subsequent few weeks, staff members mentioned.
Ingenuity and the life-hunting, sample-collecting Perseverance landed inside Jezero in February 2021. The chopper shortly aced its major mission, a five-flight marketing campaign designed to point out that aerial exploration is possible on Mars. Ingenuity then launched into an prolonged mission, throughout which it is serving as a scout for Perseverance.
All communications to and from Ingenuity have to be routed by means of Perseverance. That explains the latest silent spell, which the 2 mission groups had anticipated: The rover had disappeared behind a hill from the helicopter’s perspective, and it did not come again into view till June 28.
Ingenuity’s handlers have battled by means of different communications points recently as nicely. In early April, for instance, the chopper went darkish for six days, a shock dropout that had the mission staff sweating a bit.
Initially posted on House.com.