New Delhi: US Space agency NASA delayed the first flight attempt of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter which was scheduled for April 11. This delay occurred due to a ‘watchdog’ timer expiration.
During a high-speed spin test of rotors on Friday (April 9) the command sequence controlling the test ended early due to watchdog timer expiration. This occurred as it was trying to transition the flight computer from ‘Pre-Flight’ to ‘Flight’ mode. The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.
The watchdog timer oversees the command sequence and alerts the system to any potential issues. It helps the system stay safe by not proceeding if an issue is observed and worked as planned.
The helicopter team is reviewing telemetry to diagnose and understand the issue. Following that, they will reschedule the full-speed test.
#MarsHelicopter 1st flight attempt delayed to no earlier than April 14
During the high-speed spin test, the sequence ended early during the transition from “preflight” to “flight” mode. The helicopter is safe & healthy. The team is diagnosing the issue. https://t.co/ysnZzKR7qM pic.twitter.com/lP3NrIvGBs
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) April 10, 2021
It is worth noting that the Ingenuity drone touched the Martian surface just a few days ago and survived its first night on the scorching cold Martian land. Ingenuity along with Perseverance Mars rover is deployed on the red planet to explore the ancient life of the planet.