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Open-source Helps NASA With Their Ingenuity Helicopter

Open-source has traveled to Mars through NASA’s ingenuity helicopter. NASA launched this project back in 2020 July to travel 293-million-mile to Mars. Ingenuity’s journey was only 10 feet away from Mars.

The ingenuity helicopter runs an embedded Linux distribution on its navigation computer, most of it which include software written in C++ using Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) open-source flight control framework F Prime </> (F’). The ground control to flight modeling and data processing was done through the Python ecosystem.

The Ingenuity helicopter weighs 1.8 kgs including the blades, motor, power supply, solar panels, and enough computer power to keep it in course as pre-programmed.

This project was contributed over 12,000 people from Github including code, documentation, graphic design, and more to the open-source software that made the Ingenuity project a success. To celebrate this moment of marvel in the history of humanity GitHub added a new badge to the profiles of those developers.

Many of the people who have contributed towards this project have no idea of their contribution and how big of an outcome was achieved through it. JPL supplied a list of every version of open-source project powering of ingenuity, through that GitHub will be able to identify the developers who contributed towards this act.

Most of the software system which is created today mostly rely on open-source developers they contribute a lot and they wouldn’t realize or acknowledge the impact of their service. NASA is hoping that there could be many ways in the future to how open-source contributors could get involved with space exploration projects. This the first time NASA has used open-source flight software


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