NASA helicopter Ingenuity cannot fly on Mars for the time being due to a broken sensor

NASA’s helicopter orbiting Mars cannot continue flying until the agency can send an update to the Ingenuity. Due to a broken sensor, the helicopter can no longer take off and therefore the software of the helicopter has to be adjusted.

NASA writes that the inclinometer stops responding. This sensor measures gravity before the helicopter takes off. The team in charge of the helicopter believes that they can also launch the helicopter without this sensor, but that requires a software update to be sent to the helicopter.

If successful, the Ingenuity can begin its twenty-ninth flight. The first flight was made last April, after the helicopter was brought to Mars along with the Mars rover Perseverance. The helicopter has already completed its planned mission, but NASA extended the mission. The helicopter has completed twenty-eight successful flights so far.

The question is how long the helicopter will continue to work. According to NASA, it will be winter on Mars and the Ingenuity will have very low temperatures at night. In principle, the helicopter is not built for this. The helicopter also receives less energy from its solar panels, because more and more dust is deposited on it.