back to article Mars helicopter needs patch to fly again after sensor failure

The Mars Ingenuity helicopter is in need of a patch to work around a failed sensor before another flight can be attempted. The helicopter's inclinometer failed during a recommissioning effort ahead of the 29th flight. The sensor is critical as it will reposition the craft nearer to the Perseverance rover for communication …

  1. UCAP Silver badge

    Shakes head in amazement

    It always amazes me the ingenuity (pun not intended) of the NASA (and ESA) system designers and how they work around failure modes that no-one else would have thought about.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Shakes head in amazement

      Good job Mars has right-to-repair laws

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Shakes head in amazement

      The ultimate argument for WFH.

  2. RobLang

    I won't complain about patching a cloud server again*

    * I will if it's Windows.

    Bravo, NASA/ESA system engineers, bravo.

  3. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    What a Heavenly GODSend

    A patch that inserts small code snippets into human software running computers intercepting incoming garbage packets and injecting replacement packets constructed from rock solid data.

    The Earth needs more of them than humans are ever likely to admit, and in what may be far too many cases, also disinclined to permit. Thank goodness AI and Global Operating Devices are on the ball and don't fall at that early simple hurdle.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What a Heavenly GODSend

      Can we ask you to kindly stop by and dust off some solar panels for us on your next trip back home?

    2. Nonymous Crowd Nerd

      Re: What a Heavenly GODSend

      Same kind of thing might have been handy for those 737 MAX planes if the 737 hardware had been sufficiently up to date.

  4. VonDutch

    "shorter days and dropping power levels"

    Can't it fly south for the winter?

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "shorter days and dropping power levels"

      Only if it's unladen.

    2. Xalran

      Re: "shorter days and dropping power levels"

      Not really, or Perseverance needs to thrundle along.

      Ingenuity is not fully independant, and needs Perseverance to be in range to receive flight path andto send back towards one of the Orbiter ( and eventually Earth ) what is collected/seen during the flight.

      From what I've read, said range is more or less a kilometer... So Ingenuity can't go south unless Perseverance follows and stay in that kilometer range.

  5. Peter X

    Is the sensor failure likely due to it getting too cold overnight?

    1. JDPower666

      I suspect they may have built it to withstand the temperatures on Mars, it's not like they didn't know where it was going.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

        That's true, but that was what the heater was for. They've now turned the thermostat down because of the shortage of power (and to see what breaks)

      2. Xalran

        well it's way past it's warranty date... After all it was only intended to fly 5 times.

        It always amazes me how long beyond the mandated/expected lifespan the things we lob around the Solar System can still operate. ( and the tricks the engineers working with them finds to make them work just that little bit longer )

        1. zuckzuckgo Silver badge

          > well it's way past it's warranty date...

          Blame the bean counters. They were to cheap to shell out for the extended warranty plan with the onsite option.

        2. JDPower666

          Expected lifespans of spacecraft should always be taken with a large pinch of salt. They are usually stated as the absolute bare minimum to ensure the mission is considered a success, so the fact that they last longer is pretty expected (excluding the Voyager probes which are simply exceptional)

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like