Ingenuity makes short hop to the north for Flight 16

Fri, 19 Nov 2021 01:02:08 GMT
Space Daily

Pasadena CA (JPL) Nov 18, 2021 With Flight 15, Ingenuity began the journey back towards "Wright...

With Flight 15, Ingenuity began the journey back towards "Wright Brothers Field" at "Octavia E. Butler Landing," the site where Perseverance touched down with Ingenuity in February.

After reviewing the data from Flight 15, the Ingenuity team is prepared to attempt our Flight 16 no earlier than Thursday, Nov. 18.

We plan to capture a series of nine color Return-to-Earth camera images evenly spaced throughout the flight, oriented to the southwest and opposite the flight path.

If we could fly all the way across Seitah on Flight 9, why are we breaking the return path into multiple segments? As discussed in the Flight 9 retrospective post, the terrain of Seitah is particularly challenging for Ingenuity's navigation algorithm.

On Flight 9, Ingenuity landed 154 feet away from the center of our 164-foot-(50-meter)-radius target airfield.

Flight 16 will tackle the tricky terrain of the Raised Ridges.

By doing a short flight over these ridges, we reduce accumulated heading error that can build up over longer flights.

Flight 16 will set up Ingenuity for a Seitah crossing on Flight 17, getting us closer to the current goal of Wright Brothers Field.

While waiting for the Perseverance rover to catch up after Flight 17, the Ingenuity team is considering performing a flight software update to enable new navigation capabilities and better prepare Ingenuity for future flights.

The latest flight, over the weekend, was relatively short - at just 128 seconds - and was designed in part to further test flight conditions at Jezero Crater now that summer has arrived.