A Mars-bound Ingenuity helicopter failed to make its fourth flight over the planet's surface on Thursday. This was reported on the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) Twitter page.
"As part of an ambitious fourth flight, the helicopter failed to lift off from the surface of Mars", the statement reads. The team is evaluating the data and intends to make another attempt soon.
The fourth Ingenuity flight was scheduled for 10:12 am US East Coast time. LRD specialists were expecting to receive data on it about three hours later. The helicopter was expected to climb to an altitude of about 5 metres and fly 133 metres south at about 3.5 metres per second.
Ingenuity, which has a mass of 1.8 kg, first flew to an altitude of 3 m above the surface of Mars on April 19. Its flight then lasted only 39.1 seconds. On April 22, it reached an altitude of 5 m and flew sideways by 2 m. On 25 April, the helicopter was able to cover a distance of 50 m and return.
The helicopter, which cost $80 million to develop, was flown to Ezero Crater with the Perseverance rover on 18 February. The purpose of this mission is to try to detect traces of possible life on Mars in the distant past.