Bad news! NASA loses contact with its mini-helicopter Ingenuity on Mars | Tech News

Bad news! NASA loses contact with its mini-helicopter Ingenuity on Mars

NASA has lost contact with its tiny helicopter Ingenuity during the hard-working craft's 72nd flight, the space agency said.

| Updated on: Jan 21 2024, 13:08 IST
NASA reveals info about 5 asteroids on their way; Check speed, size, and other details
1/5 Asteroid 2024 AC - The first asteroid to pass Earth is Asteroid 2024 AC, and it will do so on January 6. During its approach, it will come as close as 2.3 million kilometers. According to NASA, the space rock is nearly 85 feet wide and is travelling at a speed of almost 24444 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
image caption
2/5 Asteroid 2023 YX1 – The second asteroid on its way is designated Asteroid 2023 YX1, and it will also pass by Earth on January 6. According to NASA, this space rock has a width of nearly 120 feet. Its orbit will take it almost as close as 3.8 million kilometers to the planet’s surface while moving at a speed of 51520 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
3/5 Asteroid 2024 AM – Another space rock named Asteroid 2024 AM will pass Earth on January 7. In terms of size, the asteroid is just 29 feet wide. As per NASA, it will come as close as 1.2 million kilometers and is already moving at a breakneck speed of 32469 kilometers per hour. (Pixabay)
4/5 Asteroid 2002 AY1 – Asteroid 2002 AY1 will pass by Earth on January 8. During its close approach, it will come as close as 5.8 million kilometers to the planet’s surface. With a width of 720 feet, the space rock is speeding towards Earth at 62421 kilometers per hour. (WikiMedia Commons)
5/5 Asteroid 2023 XN13 – Another asteroid designated Asteroid 2023 XN13 will pass Earth on January 9. According to NASA, this 26 feet wide asteroid is travelling at almost 5177 kilometers per hour and will pass the planet at a distance of 6 million kilometers. (Pixabay )
View all Images
NASA has lost contact with its tiny helicopter Ingenuity during its 72nd flight. Engineers are attempting to re-establish communications after it ended abruptly on Thursday. (NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA has lost contact with its tiny helicopter Ingenuity during the hard-working craft's 72nd flight, the space agency said. The agency's engineers are attempting to re-establish communications, which ended abruptly on Thursday as the craft was making its descent from a test flight, NASA said late Friday.

Ingenuity, which resembles a large drone, had arrived on Mars in 2021 with the rover Perseverance and became the first motorized craft to fly autonomously on another planet.

Data from the helicopter's flights are transmitted via Perseverance back to Earth.

On its flight Thursday -- "a quick pop-up vertical flight to check out the helicopter's systems, following an unplanned early landing during its previous flight," NASA said -- Ingenuity successfully attained an altitude of 40 feet (12 meters).

But "during its planned descent, communications between the helicopter and rover terminated early, prior to touchdown," the agency said, adding that "the Ingenuity team is analyzing available data and considering next steps to reestablish communications."

In a post on X, the former Twitter, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory added that Perseverance was temporarily "out of line-of-sight with Ingenuity, but the team could consider driving closer for a visual inspection."

NASA has lost contact with the helicopter before, including for an agonizing two months last year.

The mini rotorcraft, which weighs just four pounds (1.8 kilograms), has far exceeded its original goal of undertaking five flights over 30 days on the red planet.

In all, it has covered just over 10 miles (17 kilometers) and reached altitudes of up to 79 feet (24 meters).

Its longevity has proved remarkable, particularly considering that it must survive glacially cold Martian nights, kept warm by the solar panels that recharge its batteries during daylight hours.

Working with Perseverance, it has acted as an aerial scout to assist its wheeled companion in searching for possible signs of ancient microbial life.

Also read these top stories today:

AI chatbots birth windfall for chipmakers! AI is going to be the new driver of growth for the foreseeable future, and the whole chip industry will benefit. Yes, the chatbots' popularity will be a windfall for TSMC. Read all about it here.

AI paranoia? Leaders at Davos are worried about AI fake news. But they mustn't forget how Facebook and TikTok spread it. Dive in here. Found it interesting? Go on, and share it with everyone you know.

Apple Watch without blood oxygen feature better? Masimo CEO Joe Kiani, waging a legal fight with Apple Inc over a blood oxygen feature on Apple Watch, said that consumers are better off without the iPhone maker's version of the technology. Know all about it here.

Follow HT Tech for the latest tech news and reviews , also keep up with us on Whatsapp channel,Twitter, Facebook, Google News, and Instagram. For our latest videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

First Published Date: 21 Jan, 09:37 IST