Mars helicopter gets extra time to scout

Instead of wrapping up flight tests at the beginning of May, NASA is giving its Ingenuity helicopter at least an extra month to tackle tough new terrain and serve as a scout for its companion rover, Perseverance.

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April 30, 2021 - 1:47 PM

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter must have technical issues resolved, the U.S. space agency said Saturday, April 17, 2021, before its first flight on another planet. (Jet Propulsion Laboratory/TNS)

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — NASA’s little Mars helicopter has gotten a reprieve. 

Instead of wrapping up flight tests at the beginning of May, NASA is giving its Ingenuity helicopter at least an extra month to tackle tough new terrain and serve as a scout for its companion rover, Perseverance. 

Officials announced the flight extension Friday, following three successful flights over the past month for the $85 million tech demo. Ingenuity was attempting its fourth flight Friday afternoon; Thursday’s effort failed because of a known software error. 

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