NASA Regains Contact With Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

NASA Regains Contact With Ingenuity Mars Helicopter

NASA is back in contact with the Mars Ingenuity helicopter, two days after a communication blackout. The aircraft had surprisingly ceased communication with the Perseverance rover, which was the only medium that searched for information from the helicopter and transmitted it to the Earth. On January 20, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) posted on X that the team is trying to reestablish communication between Ingenuity and the Perseverance rover. They announced on January 21 that they were back in contact with their beloved helicopter. NASA’s JPL wrote, “Good news today: We’ve reestablished contact with the Mars helicopter after instructing @NASAPersevere to perform long-duration listening sessions for Ingenuity’s signal.”

Ingenuity landed on Mars in February 2021, and an unexpected communication dropout occurred during its 72nd flight on January 18. NASA said, “The flight was designed as a quick pop-up vertical flight to check out the helicopter’s systems, following an unplanned early landing during its previous flight.” Earlier, NASA also said that Ingenuity has attained an altitude of 40 feet from the Martian surface. “Data Ingenuity sent to the Perseverance rover (which acts as a relay between the helicopter and Earth) during the flight indicates it successfully climbed to its assigned maximum altitude of 40 feet (12 meters). During its planned descent, communications between the helicopter and rover terminated early, prior to touchdown,” NASA said.

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Similarly, NASA lost contact with Ingenuity in 2023 and left everyone worried for two months. Ingenuity has achieved its goal of undertaking five flights over 30 days on Mars. Till now, the helicopter has traveled around 17 kilometers and has climbed up to an altitude of 79 feet. The aircraft weighs only four pounds. It is unclear whether Ingenuity will fly again. NASA has not confirmed it as of now and said that they will have to assess the overall situation of the helicopter before commenting on it.

Posted by Shubhangi Srivastava

Shubhangi is a budding professional with a love for storytelling and an eye for detail. A journalism student and content enthusiast currently working at Tecuy Media. She is eager to bring freshness to the writing field and explore the world through her words.

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