NASA has lost contact with the Ingenuity mini-helicopter on Mars. The agency is looking for a way to restore communications.
The small helicopter landed on the surface of Mars with the driving robot Perseverance in February 2021. The device, which looks like a large drone, must collect soil samples that Perseverance takes, after which it can be returned to Earth.
NASA said in a press release issued on Friday evening that the helicopter began its 72nd flight on the planet last Thursday, but communications were disrupted during landing. She added that the agency is analyzing the available data and studying ways to restore communication.
Thursday’s flight was intended to “check the helicopter’s systems” after it landed earlier than expected during the previous flight.
The 1.8-kilogram Ingenuity plane was initially scheduled to make just five flights, but the mission exceeded expectations and was extended indefinitely. The device must withstand extremely cold nights on Mars and use solar panels to charge the batteries during the day.
Watch also. Why is it difficult to fly on Mars?
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