Curiosity rover out of safe mode, recovering

Mar 05, 2013
This self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity combines 66 exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) during the 177th Martian day, or sol, of Curiosity's work on Mars (Feb. 3, 2013). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has transitioned from precautionary "safe mode" to active status on the path of recovery from a memory glitch last week. Resumption of full operations is anticipated by next week.

Controllers switched the rover to a redundant onboard computer, the rover's "B-side" computer, on Feb. 28 when the "A-side" computer that the rover had been using demonstrated symptoms of a corrupted memory location. The intentional side swap put the rover, as anticipated, into minimal-activity safe mode.

Curiosity exited on Saturday and resumed using its high-gain antenna on Sunday.

"We are making good progress in the recovery," said Laboratory Project Manager Richard Cook, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "One path of progress is evaluating the A-side with intent to recover it as a backup. Also, we need to go through a series of steps with the B-side, such as informing the computer about the state of the rover—the position of the arm, the position of the mast, that kind of information."

The cause for the A-side's memory symptoms observed last week remains to be determined.

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Howard_Vickridge
5 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2013
Truly awesome. I feel privileged to be able to see Mars through Rover's lenses. In these times of connectedness and information overload, it still gives me reason to pause and reflect. How utterly amazing it is that science experiences at these extraordinary thresholds can be shared with all humanity. Thank you. really.