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Mars Ingenuity flight delayed after rotor test fails

Mars Ingenuity flight delayed after rotor test fails

Science
April 10 (UPI) -- NASA has delayed the first flight of the Ingenuity Mars helicopter until at least Wednesday. The agency announced the delay in a Saturday news release after a high-speed test of the helicopter's rotors abruptly stopped Friday. Advertisement The drone's watchdog timer expired as it was trying to transition the flight computer from "pre-flight" to "flight" mode, according to NASA. The watchdog timer oversees the command sequences and alerts the system to any potential problems, preventing the system from proceeding when an issue is detected. NASA described the helicopter as "safe and healthy" and said the Ingenuity Mars' team is reviewing telemetry to diagnose and understand the full-speed test. Friday's test was the last major one before the helicopter's first scheduled f...
Tiny Mars helicopter set for first flight Sunday

Tiny Mars helicopter set for first flight Sunday

Science
April 9 (UPI) -- NASA's plan to fly a helicopter on Mars comes to fruition Sunday with an attempted 40-second climb to just 10 feet, but agency officials say they hope to make bolder efforts in the next few weeks. "We'll be going higher and further," MiMi Aung, the space agency's project manager on the helicopter, Ingenuity, said Friday. "By the fifth flight, if we get that far, we are going to take very bold flights and ... it would be unlikely to land safely because we'll start going into unsurveyed areas." Advertisement NASA plans to fly Ingenuity at 10:54 p.m. EDT Sunday, but results won't be available until 4:15 a.m. Monday due to transmission delays between the helicopter, the rover and Earth. A live broadcast of the mission control room at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,...
Mars helicopter Ingenuity performs well before first flight

Mars helicopter Ingenuity performs well before first flight

Science
April 7 (UPI) -- NASA's Mars helicopter Ingenuity, the first powered aircraft on another planet, is free of the Perseverance rover that carried it and appears to be functioning well ahead of its first flight on Sunday, the space agency said. NASA plans to broadcast the results of that first flight at 3:30 a.m. EDT Monday after the helicopter transmits data and images to Perseverance, which will send them back to Earth. Advertisement The helicopter detached from the rover's underbelly Saturday and survived subzero temperatures with its own heaters, which NASA said was "a major milestone" in an announcement Tuesday. The 4-pound rover uses solar panels to charge its batteries and keep delicate electronics safe from extreme cold that can reach 130 degrees F below zero. "So far, everything ha...
‘Our flight refund battle for mum who can barely walk’

‘Our flight refund battle for mum who can barely walk’

Business
Clare D'AgnostinoAn elderly grandmother who can "barely walk" has finally been sent a refund - a year after her flight was cancelled.Veronica Brown, aged 85, had hoped to visit her son and grandchildren in Munich last Easter, until Covid restrictions put an end to her plans.Her daughter Clare D'Agostino said, with little prospect of rearranging, there was "no way on earth" they would have chosen a voucher over a refund.But they were sent one anyway, until the BBC followed up the case.Pointless voucherMrs Brown visited her family in Germany as much as she could. In her advancing years, her daughter Clare booked her flights for her. The Easter trip was booked via Expedia, but then the Covid crisis intervened, and all such travel halted.For a variety of reasons including an apparent disagreem...
SpaceX will try to stick the landing for new Starship test flight

SpaceX will try to stick the landing for new Starship test flight

Business
March 26 (UPI) -- SpaceX plans another attempt to fly and land the company's Starship moon and Mars rocket over sometime over the next four days from Boca Chica, Texas. The rocket company has filed for "no-fly" notices during daylight hours from Friday through Monday around the SpaceX launch facility in the community about 180 miles south of Corpus Christi. Advertisement Previous test flights of the giant, stainless steel rocket ended in fireballs in December, February and March. The tests are part of SpaceX's rapid prototype development methods, which the company used to develop its highly successful Falcon rockets. Starship is one of three spacecraft NASA has chosen as possible means to send astronauts back to the moon this decade. The space agency intends to choose two proposals for th...