It's been a busy spring for many of us, but hopefully no one has forgotten that NASA is flying a drone on another planet right now. The Ingenuity copter recently completed its sixth flight, however this one ran into a new issue — a timing problem with images received from its navcam gave the helicopter incorrect information about where it was flying.
Just keep flying 🚁#MarsHelicopter completed its 6th flight. Despite unexpected motion from an image processing issue, Ingenuity muscled through the final ~65 meters of its 215-meter journey, landed safely & is ready to fly again. The chief pilot explains https://t.co/533hn7qixk pic.twitter.com/IHkkjXaHDd
— NASA JPL (@NASAJPL) May 27, 2021
As the team describes in a blog post, the copter's various other subsystems kept it flying despite the anomaly, as it covered the last 65 meters of its journey and landed safely. Apparently the problem resulted due to a glitch in a single image that removed the craft's ability to read the timing on pictures received from its navigation camera for the rest of the flight. They're working to correct that issue, but it does help prove that Ingenuity is stable enough to fly itself even when something goes wrong.