NASA: Ingenuity begins a new phase

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

What is the New Mission of Ingenuity?

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

NASA had initially planned to conduct only five flights. This operation demonstration phase was planned after Ingenuity completed its flights successfully.

Under this 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

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

About the fourth Flight

The fourth flight of Ingenuity helicopter was postponed to April 30, 2021 due to a software glitch. It was earlier planned to the be held on April 25, 2021. However, the fourth flight has now been completed successfully. In its fourth flight Ingenuity climbed five 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.

Recent Developments of Ingenuity Mission

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