Scroll down to read this post.


Please consider supporting my work here at Behind The Black by giving either a one-time contribution or a regular subscription, in any one of the following ways:


1. Zelle: This is the only internet method that charges no fees. All you have to do is use the Zelle link at your internet bank and give my name and email address (zimmerman at nasw dot org). What you donate is what I get.


2. Patreon: Go to my website there and pick one of five monthly subscription amounts, or by making a one-time donation.

3. A Paypal Donation:

4. A Paypal subscription:

5. Donate by check, payable to Robert Zimmerman and mailed to
Behind The Black
c/o Robert Zimmerman
P.O.Box 1262
Cortaro, AZ 85652

Ingenuity requires software update before flying

JPL engineers have determined that they need to upload a software update on Ingenuity in order to solve the issue that caused the first high-speed spin test of its rotary blades to end prematurely.

In an update released late Monday by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, mission managers said engineers identified a software fix for the “command sequence issue” that ended the high-speed spin-up test Friday.

Officials at JPL, which manages the Ingenuity helicopter project, did not announce a new target date for the rotorcraft’s first test flight. Ground teams hope to determine a new target date next week for the helicopter’s first flight.

According to the original plans, Ingenuity was to get about a 30 day test period, after which Perseverance would move on to its primary Mars science mission. It is not clear at this moment whether that test period will be extended because of these issues. I suspect they will extend it to get as many flight tests as possible, since Perseverance is functioning like a dream and can wait a few extra weeks before beginning what will be years of Martian roving. How often does one get to flight test a helicopter on another world?

Conscious Choice cover

Now available in hardback and paperback as well as ebook!


From the press release: In this ground-breaking new history of early America, historian Robert Zimmerman not only exposes the lie behind The New York Times 1619 Project that falsely claims slavery is central to the history of the United States, he also provides profound lessons about the nature of human societies, lessons important for Americans today as well as for all future settlers on Mars and elsewhere in space.

Conscious Choice: The origins of slavery in America and why it matters today and for our future in outer space, is a riveting page-turning story that documents how slavery slowly became pervasive in the southern British colonies of North America, colonies founded by a people and culture that not only did not allow slavery but in every way were hostile to the practice.  
Conscious Choice does more however. In telling the tragic history of the Virginia colony and the rise of slavery there, Zimmerman lays out the proper path for creating healthy societies in places like the Moon and Mars.


“Zimmerman’s ground-breaking history provides every future generation the basic framework for establishing new societies on other worlds. We would be wise to heed what he says.” —Robert Zubrin, founder of founder of the Mars Society.


All editions available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and all book vendors. The ebook can be purchased direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit, in which case you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner. Note that the price for the ebook, $3.99, goes up to $5.99 on September 1, 2022.


Autographed printed copies are also available at discount directly from me (hardback $24.95; paperback $14.95). Just email me at zimmerman @ nasw dot org.


  • Col Beausabre

    Which leaves open the question, why the bug existed after all the software development and testing on Earth. Well, no injury, no foul. I realize we are all anxious to see the first flight, but Nasa’s caution is warranted.

  • bill auger

    how long can it survive the conditions on the surface? its allready collected dust on its solar panels

  • Ray Van Dune

    Does Perseverance have a squeegee tool on its arm?

  • MDN

    It is surprising that such a fault could have escaped detection in QA testing on Earth. Have they released any details on what exactly caused the problem? Perhaps an untimely SEU (single event upset due to radiation) of a critical unprotected memory (which would explain why it wasn’t seen in QA)??? It would not be surprising given schedule, budget, and limited life expectancy if as an engineering test vehicle the flight control subsystem was not designed to be 100% fault tolerant.

  • MDN: I am guessing but I suspect the fault resulted from the first use in Martian gravity, a condition that can only be simulated poorly on Earth. I also suspect that their approximations were not far off, and they are now making the proper adjustments based on their first in situ test.

  • Edward_2

    JPL should have installed a bathroom scale.

Readers: the rules for commenting!


No registration is required. I welcome all opinions, even those that strongly criticize my commentary.


However, name-calling and obscenities will not be tolerated. First time offenders who are new to the site will be warned. Second time offenders or first time offenders who have been here awhile will be suspended for a week. After that, I will ban you. Period.


Note also that first time commenters as well as any comment with more than one link will be placed in moderation for my approval. Be patient, I will get to it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.