Ingenuity: NASA publishes a question and answer section with the project manager

NASA’s Twitter profile posted this Wednesday (14) a giveaway for those eagerly following the preparations for the Ingenuity helicopter’s first flight to Mars: a column responses to questions asked by Internet users, with the participation of MiMi Aung, the project manager, and Dr Thomas Zurbuchen, deputy administrator of the agency.

Several questions were linked to the failure that caused the postponement of the first flight, initially scheduled for last Sunday (11).

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According to Aung, a slight “mismatch” between the flight computer and a “supervisor” (watchdog) who monitors the health of the systems caused the maximum speed propeller spin test to be interrupted, because the response from the computer has not been received by the supervisor. on time.

Another question was about the process of developing a fix for the problem, along with a software update. Aung summarizes the steps: determine the cause, develop a solution, test the solution (using a second helicopter that is in his NASA lab) and only then coordinate with the Perseverance robot team to send The software.

Regardless of the team’s preparation, a flight to another planet is something that has never been tried in history. When asked what his biggest fears were, Zurbuchen responded.

“This is a technological demonstration of great risk, but of great reward. We know there is a high probability that unusual things will happen. My biggest fear is that a strong wind will blow and throw the helicopter aside, ”he says.

Aung, on the other hand, has another fear, “unknown” factors that may have been overlooked by the team. But he says that whatever happens, the team will learn from it and be better prepared for a next step in the future.

Source: @Nasa

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