back to article Mars helicopter phones home after 63 days of silence

NASAs Ingenuity Mars Helicopter has phoned home, more than 60 days after last establishing contact. mars China space agency reckons Zhurong Mars rover has probably been done in by dust READ MORE Ingenuity's last flight was on April 26, when the rotorcraft took to Martian skies for 139 seconds and hopped 363 meters. The …

  1. xanadu42

    Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

    And now planning for flight 53 after a short hiatus...

    Would be so very nice if modern consumer products lasted ten-times longer than their designed lifetime...

    1. saxicola

      Re: Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

      If we were prepared to pay ten times as much for them they probably would. :)

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

        The way things are going, we'll soon be paying 10 times as much for things that don't last as long (in some cases that's already true).

    2. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

      It's very easy to make sure a one off prototype product lasts well past it's minimum required lifetime since the material cost of exceeding engineering requirements is relatively minor compared to the engineering costs and related expenses. For mass produced consumer goods, material costs starts getting counted in fractions of cents, overengineering is no longer an option and things get cost optimized to the point that roughly 95 to 99% of products will last a minimum of the warranty period (The myth that they get engineered to fail just after is false, but optimizing to last a minimum of the warranty but with no "unnecessary cost" means that they're likely to fail very shortly after warranty so the effect is about the same).

      1. Dom 3

        Re: Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

        It's in the maths. I've said it before but here goes again... if you want to make sure that the thing as a whole will last the initial mission duration with 95% probability, then each subsystem (let's say six of them) needs a 99% chance of getting there. In which case there's an 80% chance (whatever) of lasting ten (whatever) times longer. Particularly with the rovers - jammed wheel? Drive backwards.

        Obvs helicopter more of a go / no-go situation.

        Still, it's marvellous that a technology demonstrator has been turned into a useful instrument.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Ingenuity's initial mission called for just five flights,...

        Many years ago, at university, I was one student in a room full of mechanical engineering students who had to sit and listen to a management lecturer tell us that car manufacturers deliberately design in rust spots.

        Needless to say, we had very little respect for him before that lecture, because his entire course (compulsory to engineering students) was trying to teach us meaningless management-speak, and after that particular lecture, he had absolutely no respect from us at all.

  2. gerryg



    1. oliversalmon

      Re: obligatory

      Am I only person who doesn't find xkcd in the least bit funny. I get that it covers tech topics, but I don't think a single one has made me laugh over the many years people have posted them.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: obligatory

        Probably not the only person, but yes, you are a bit of an outlier.

      2. Will Godfrey Silver badge

        Re: obligatory

        They don't all make me laugh. Some of them cause me to think. They're all somewhat off-the-wall, which is a 'good thing' (TM).

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: obligatory

          ... and today' cartoon is definitely the latter type.

          Hmmm wonder if Randal reads El Reg.

  3. David Hicklin Bronze badge

    Japanese "copter"

    Sounds like one of the ornithopters from Dune

  4. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    The message

    Hello, we've been trying to get in touch with you about your helicopters extended warranty

  5. Winkypop Silver badge
    Black Helicopters

    Dark side of the hill

    Mars helicopter was just having a quiet spliff and a listen to some Floyd..

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