NASA loses contact with Ingenuity Mars helicopter

Jan 20, 2024
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NASA lost contact with its Ingenuity Mars helicopter on Thursday (Jan. 18), toward the end of the little rotorcraft's 72nd Red Planet flight.

NASA loses contact with Ingenuity Mars helicopter : Read more
The Ingenuity Mars helicopter is a fantastic achievement and will clearly influence all subsequent Mars exploration.
However contrary to the claim made in this article, Ingenuity is not 'the first vehicle ever to explore the skies of a world beyond Earth'.
In June 1985 the twin Soviet Vega probes deployed balloons into the atmosphere of Venus during their decent to the surface.
Although the Vega 1 lander's science package got triggered early by storms in the atmosphere during decent, both balloons operated successfully for over 46hrs where they conducted a variety of atmospheric measurements.
At this time Soviet space exploration was probably at its pinnacle, the French CNES coordinated international efforts to receive signals from the 2 balloons, including the support by the NASA deep space network.
There is a model of the balloons at the Smithsonian Air and Space Udvar-Hazy Center.
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Reactions: George²
Dec 25, 2023
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Wow, so averaging less than 2 minutes per flight. Hopefully, now that they know the technology works, they can design a better helicopter for the next rover, if there is one. Actually, a drone helicopter would also be very helpful to an astronaut mission to Mars. I’m sure a good sized helicopter could fit inside Starship. Starship should be ready for Mars in 8-10 years. I think they said that they would want around 100 flights without people aboard, first, just to be on the safe side.

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