Washington – Agencies
The American space exploration agency, NASA, has restored communication with its small helicopter, Ingenuity, on Mars, as it was announced yesterday, after it unexpectedly malfunctioned and was lost for a while.
The helicopter, which resembles a large drone, will become the first motorized vehicle to fly over a planet other than Earth in 2021.
That day it was transported to the Red Planet by the mobile robot “Perseverance”, which transmits data from it to Earth, and whose mission is to search for signs of ancient life on Mars.
However, last Thursday, during the helicopter's seventy-second mission to Mars, communication between Ingenuity and the rover was suddenly cut off.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which is responsible for the helicopter, announced on the “X” network today that it has good news.
The company indicated that it was finally possible to restore contact with the helicopter by giving the command “perseverance” to pick up the “intelligence” signal.
He added that the team responsible for the helicopter “is working on studying new data to get a clear explanation of the cause of the unexpected loss of communication during the seventy-second flight”.
“Intelligence” reached a height of 12 meters, but “during its descent, communication between the helicopter and the rover stopped before it landed,” NASA said in a release.
Last year, the US space agency lost contact with a Martian helicopter for an extended period of more than two months.
The 1.8 kilogram helicopter was initially limited to five flights – only five – but its mission exceeded all expectations.