Ingenuity, the helicopter that is part of the Perseverance mission to Mars, just underwent some flight test “stuff.” That’s the technical term.
During a high-speed spin test of the rotors on Friday,
the command sequence controlling the test ended early
due to a “watchdog” timer expiration.
There was an “issue.” That’s the political term. A normal human would say that something failed.
The helicopter team is reviewing telemetry
to diagnose and understand the issue.
But wait a minute. How did they know there was a problem? I mean, an issue?
The helicopter is safe and healthy
and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.
Yes, folks, that’s right: ET phoned home.
And sometime this week — once all the issues are resolved but no earlier than Wednesday, April 14 — NASA will fly a helicopter cum drone on Mars. A helicopter. On Mars.
Check your local TV and internet listings. It’s not quite like people landing on the Moon, but it’s still very cool.