Ingenuity’s engineers announced this morning that yesterday the helicopter on Mars was able to successfully complete a rapid spin test of its rotary blades.
Today, April 16, on the 154th anniversary of Wilbur Wright’s birth, the Ingenuity flight team received information that the helicopter was able to complete a rapid spin test. The completion of the full-speed spin is an important milestone on the path to flight as the team continues to work on the command sequence issue identified on Sol 49 (April 9).
…The approach that led to today’s successful spin test entailed adding a few commands to the flight sequence. This approach was tested extensively on both Earth and Mars, and was performed without jeopardizing the safety of the helicopter.
They have still not set a date for flight, because they might still decide, after they have analyzed fully the results from this test, to revise the helicopter’s software and upload that change. If not the flight will be relatively soon. If so there will be a longer delay to test that software fully before flight.
From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.
The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.
He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.
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