NASA’s helicopter flight on Mars delayed

International

This illustration made available by NASA depicts the Ingenuity Mars Helicopter on the red planet’s surface near the Perseverance rover, left. NASA is upping the ante with its newest rover headed to Mars. Set to rocket away this week from Florida, Perseverance is NASA’s brawniest and brainiest Martian rover yet. (NASA/JPL-Caltech via AP)

(WESH) – The tiny helicopter known as Ingenuity that was set to take flight on Mars this weekend has been delayed, according to NASA. The mission has been pushed back a few days.

NASA says it is now targeting no earlier than April 14. The decision was made based on data that arrived from Ingenuity late Friday night.

The Mars rover Perseverance had set the hitchhiking aircraft Ingenuity down near its landing site. Initially, the four-pound, 20-inch-tall experimental flyer’s flight was scheduled for Sunday.

During a high-speed spin test of the rotors, the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to a “watchdog” timer expiration. That timer helps the system stay safe if an issue is found.

The helicopter team is reviewing the issue and will reschedule the full-speed test flight.

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