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teckk 04-10-2021 07:07 AM

Linux powered First Flight on Mars Apr 11
Post things related to this in this thread if you want.

enorbet 04-10-2021 01:09 PM

Yup! I've been following this obsessively due to my interest in Flight, Space Exploration, and in this case also Linux since that is the OpSys on the Mars Copter. I will be glued to my PC in the wee hours with lots of strong coffee! :D

teckk 04-10-2021 05:25 PM

Delayed until the 14th or so.

enorbet 04-11-2021 06:35 AM

The Mars Copter is like Half Life and Slackware - It's ready when it's ready :D

enorbet 04-15-2021 01:27 PM

Today I've been reading about the delay apparently extended to next week. It appears NASA engineers prefer to not attempt flight before a software update is accomplished. Since the initial alarm bells rang in engineer's ears over some difficulties in switching from Pre Flight Mode to Flight Mode, I'm dying to learn more and of course what role Linux is playing in all this. For example do the engineers rejoice that they chose open source Linux for the relative ease in updating or are they frustrated because of the fault to begin with? Also, is the fault in the inherent combination of ability and limitations of Linux or did programmers merely discover a "best guess" needed to be altered by the reality of actually being on Mars?

An interesting aside hit me today. The very first helicopter flight took place in 1939. Only roughly 80 years later we are about to try to fly a helicopter on Mars. Whew!

Thanks again Teckk for starting this thread.

michaelk 04-15-2021 02:38 PM

I have not read the posted articles so sorry if this is repeated but from what little I have read Ingenuity uses a Snapdragon 801 processor board which can not run VxWorks so basically had to go with linux. It also runs NASA's own software framework called F Prime. I assume they picked the board since it is an off the shelf UAV (aka drone) board that was already space worthy.

Looks like they are just reinstalling the flight control software. I'm going with a best guess approach.

mjolnir 04-19-2021 05:12 AM

NASA Live: Official Stream of NASA TV

Success: Power up, 3 meter ascent, hover, rotation and descent.

enorbet 04-19-2021 09:05 AM

A minor but important milestone in many fundamental areas has occurred today. It is difficult to watch the base newscast, at least for me, since newscasters must be scripted and rehearsed and that makes all excitement and concern seem false, but finally the engineers' reactions as the data finalized was infectious and thrilling. You could feel the relief and triumph of great success. The future looks a little brighter.

linuxlivecd 04-19-2021 09:56 AM

Now considered just as important as the Wright brothers flight. The location is now named after them as Wright brothers field.

teckk 04-19-2021 10:57 AM

Thanks, I did not get a chance to read about this for days. I had a roof torn off and had to stay with it until done.

enorbet 04-19-2021 02:12 PM


Originally Posted by linuxlivecd (Post 6242731)
Now considered just as important as the Wright brothers flight. The location is now named after them as Wright brothers field.

Ultimately it may even be more important. One reason I can think of is it is somehow different to prove something mathematically or theoretically than in actual practice. In this case, flight on another world, there is considerable evidence that leads us to conclude that, outside of very extreme circumstances and environments, the laws of Physics are the same everywhere in the visible Universe. Flight on Mars is demonstrative proof we haven't missed anything important, that our conclusions are not merely provincial. It also lends credence to the value of computer simulations for the purpose of design even in hypothetical situations.

Naturally on top of that esoteric stuff is that exploration can be vastly improved and increased since you can bet the next one could theoretically be the bulk of the entire payload. Imaging a flying craft weighing up to a ton on Earth capable of Martian Hopscotch and hovering. This is a quantum leap.

Jan K. 04-19-2021 02:47 PM


Originally Posted by enorbet (Post 6241482)
It appears NASA engineers prefer to not attempt flight before a software update is accomplished...

A "flying release"! :D

Okay, okay, I'll go now...

Thanks for the cool links! :hattip:

enorbet 04-19-2021 05:17 PM

BTW it's way cool IMHO that the team asked for and got a piece of the cloth wing covering from the Wright Bros. Biplane to take to Mars. Not bad for two 120+ year old bicycle shop owners.

enorbet 05-16-2021 11:30 AM

As of today not only has Ingenuity completed all initial goals well beyond expectations, but so much so it's role has been substantially increased. The 5th flight took the 'copter almost 200 meters away from Perseverance at a height of 30+ meters providing detailed views of the area greatly assisting and improving confidence in Perseverance's ability to possibly expand it's mission objectives, too. Ingenuity this time did not return to "base" and instead landed at it's most distant location to date. It's heaters, batteries and performance has proved more robust than even hoped for so it will take a greater part in Perseverance's exploration. What an amazing feat of Engineering!

teckk 05-16-2021 11:45 AM

Somewhat related

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