For more than a year, since its arrival on Mars, the ingenuity helicopter has managed to win the admiration of all, even overshadowing part of the role of Perseverance, which is actually the main character of this mission on the red planet. Let us remember that in February the first anniversary of the arrival of the probe to Mars was celebrated, and that since then, despite the occasional shock, in general the team formed by both devices has reported enormous joy to researchers and engineers.
The case of Ingenuity is paradigmatic, and it is thats initial plans aimed at keeping it in service for around thirty soles (thirty Martian days, somewhat longer than the terrestrial ones). However, after that deadline, those responsible for him confirmed that he could still continue to be employed, to the point that he even saw his functions grow, becoming an explorer who would be responsible for reviewing the safety of the itineraries that he would later travel. the perseverance.
Since then, and until a few weeks ago, Ingenuity has not only remained in service, it has even been able to improve its records, something in which the change of seasons on Mars has contributed. Nevertheless, the arrival of winter is not good news for the helicopterwhich faces greater difficulty in recharging its batteries, responsible not only for the operation of its flight and communication systems with Perseverance, but also for the systems responsible for protecting the helicopter from the cold to which it is going to deal.
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Thus, and as we can read on Gizmodo, concerns have already reached mission control, and it is that the communications between Ingenuity and Perseverance have been altered, and at this moment the helicopter could have entered safe mode, reducing its energy consumption to a minimum and making some adjustments in its configuration, which at the same time are more efficient but allow the helicopter to protect itself against the cold. In principle, the data of the new settings would have been transmitted, but the lack of communications worries the engineers.
So now youThe key is that Ingenuity is able to recharge its batteries, at least enough to protect itself from the cold. Ideally, it would also be possible to restore the normal rhythm of communication between both devices, but the greater presence of dust in the air and a greater need for energy to protect against the cold, it is possible that the “radio silence” can be extend beyond what would be recommended.