“Waving” to NASA from Mars: Doomed Ingenuity received a suicide mission

The Ingenuity mission may have already ended, but the brave helicopter has not yet ceased to exist. Last week, NASA announced the sad news that the favorite Mars helicopter Ingenuity suffered serious damage to the blades, which led to the termination of its mission. This damage completed its innovative journey across the skies of Mars.

Ingenuity on Mars in the artist’s image. Source: NASA/JPL-Caltech

Despite the fact that Ingenuity will never take off again, NASA has another task for its damaged aircraft – to “wave” the blades for the sake of science. Teddy Tzanetos, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and head of the Ingenuity team, said they planned to start the helicopter’s engine and “wave” its blades a little over the next few days.

Despite the obvious damage, NASA has not yet determined the cause and extent of the damage. Thus, in the last stages of its existence, Ingenuity has the task of making a video of the rotation of the rotor blades, as a last attempt to help NASA get more information about the consequences of the accident.

Ingenuity is the first human-made spacecraft to perform a controlled flight on another planet. Despite the damage, it still amazes us with its endurance. Ingenuity was expected to land on Earth’s red neighbor in 2021 with only five flights. It significantly exceeded these expectations, making an incredible 72 flights.

In addition to its achievements, Ingenuity has also become an excellent partner for NASA’s Perseverance rover, which remains on Mars. While moving along the surface of the Red Planet, Ingenuity carried out aerial reconnaissance of the area and provided the rover with the information it received to search for interesting objects and potential dangers.

Even if Ingenuity’s work is completed, its legacy will undoubtedly live on.

Earlier, we reported on how Perseverance captured a “dead” Martian helicopter.

According to space.com

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