Ingenuity made an early landing due to the “featureless” of Mars

The Ingenuity helicopter failed to fully complete the program of its new flight. This was due to a malfunction in its navigation system.

The incident occurred on January 6, 2024, when Ingenuity, recently coming out of hibernation, ascended into the Martian sky for the 71st time. The flight plan assumed that the drone would make a 124-second flight, during which it would cover a distance of 358 meters.

But in reality, Ingenuity’s 71st flight lasted only 35 seconds, during which it flew 71 meters. According to a report published by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, this was due to the “featureless” of the surrounding area.

The fact is that the Ingenuity flight took place over a sandy area where there were practically no rocks or any other formations that could be used as a landmark. This led to a malfunction of the navigation system of the spacecraft and its early landing.

Despite this incident, Ingenuity is in good technical condition. In the near future, mission specialists hope to lift the helicopter into the Martian sky again.

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