The Ingenuity helicopter had a great (and sudden) success on Mars that even extended its mission. However, during its 17th takeoff, NASA was very afraid to lose the precious tool, because suddenly, during the final descent phase, the connection between Ingenuity and Perseverance was interrupted.
Fortunately, the helicopter successfully landed about 15 minutes after the loss of the radio connection, but what caused this sudden helicopter error? Experts say it could have been a “difficult radio configuration” between Perseverance and Ingenuity during the helicopter landing.
According to NASA data, there doesn’t seem to be any problem in the drone. So, what caused the disruption? This is most likely a “line of view” problem. Since the instrument operates within an area with considerable height differences, the radio signal connection between Ingenuity and Perseverance could be interrupted by large rocks, hills or ridges.
The perseverance rover was in fact in a non-optimal position, which could have affected signal receptions. Despite the difficulties, NASA claims that a perfect landing was still conducted; event that was further confirmed by data packets received 15 minutes after Ingenuity was due to land.
This is not the first time Ingenuity has suffered an anomaly on Mars, and certain unforeseen events are part of the “museum.”