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posted by janrinok on Thursday October 06 2022, @02:56AM   Printer-friendly

NASA's Mars Helicopter Snags Mysterious Foreign Object on 33rd Flight - ExtremeTech:

NASA's Ingenuity helicopter was intended as a short-term demonstration when it was approved to ride along with the Perseverance rover. However, it's gone above and beyond anyone's expectations. The first-ever flying vehicle on another world has just completed its 33rd flight on Mars. It was a lot like the previous flights, except that Ingenuity appears to have stepped in something. NASA reports a mysterious "foreign debris object" (FOD) was hooked on the helicopter's foot for part of the flight before flying off.

[...] Just after Ingenuity took off, a foreign debris object (FOD) appeared on one of its legs. The record of the flight appears to show the object flapping in the breeze before dropping off. NASA says the FOD's presence did not affect the flight, and Ingenuity landed without issue at Airfield X (NASA stopped naming the landing zones after the first one). Whatever the material was, it was not massive enough to affect the helicopter's telemetry.

The team is currently investigating what the FOD was, but it certainly didn't look like something you'd normally find on Mars. It looked like plastic or paper, judging by the way it moved. That means it either came from Ingenuity, Perseverance, or some other piece of NASA's mission hardware — there's nothing else artificial in that part of the red planet.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06 2022, @03:59AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 06 2022, @03:59AM (#1275161)

    Actually, it is both, depending on the context.
    FOD (Foreign Object Debris) can lead to FOD (Foreign Object Damage).
    From []

    3.2.14 Foreign Object Debris: A substance, debris, or article alien to the hardware that would
    potentially cause damage. Examples include metal shavings, wire clippings, construction debris,
    dropped tools or fasteners, oil drips, and water spills. Flight piece parts can be FOD if they are
    dropped or lost in flight hardware where they do not belong.

    3.2.15 Foreign Object Damage: Any damage attributed to a foreign object that can be
    expressed in physical or economic terms; this may or may not degrade the product's required
    safety and/or performance characteristics.

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  • (Score: 2) by Osamabobama on Thursday October 06 2022, @11:07PM

    by Osamabobama (5842) on Thursday October 06 2022, @11:07PM (#1275324)

    I think the Debris version came about because people were already using FOD as both a verb and a noun. They needed a meaning for each usage.

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