NASA's Curiosity rover to be back online next week

Mar 05, 2013
This image released by NASA on February 7, 2013, taken onboard NASA's Mars rover Curiosity, shows a self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity. NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been exploring Mars since it landed to much fanfare last August, should be running at full capacity next week, after a memory glitch set the robot back.

NASA's Curiosity rover, which has been exploring Mars since it landed to much fanfare last August, should be running at full capacity next week, after a memory glitch set the robot back.

On February 28, controllers put the rover into "minimal activity safe mode," when they switched the machine's operations to a after detecting malfunctions in the primary computer's flash memory.

"We are making good progress in the recovery," Laboratory Project Manager Richard Cook, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said in a statement late Monday.

The statement said the rover exited safe mode on Saturday and its went back online on Sunday.

Now controllers are evaluating the once-primary "A-side" computer to see if it can be repaired to act as a back up, while performing diagnostics with the "B-side" computer to get it up to full function.

"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," Cook said.

The team has yet to determine what caused the , NASA said, but emphasized that the rover never lost contact with Earth.

The six-, with 10 scientific instruments on board, is the most sophisticated ever sent to another planet.

The $2.5 billion Curiosity mission, which is set to last at least two years, aims to study the Martian environment and to hunt for evidence of water in preparation for a possible future manned mission.

Explore further: Start of dwarf planet mission delayed after small mix-up

Related Stories

Curiosity rover out of safe mode, recovering

Mar 05, 2013

(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 ...

Computer swap on Curiosity rover

Mar 01, 2013

(Phys.org) —The ground team for NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has switched the rover to a redundant onboard computer in response to a memory issue on the computer that had been active.

Curiosity self-portrait, wide view

Dec 27, 2012

(Phys.org)—On the 84th and 85th Martian days of the NASA Mars rover Curiosity's mission on Mars (Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, 2012), NASA's Curiosity rover used the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI) to capture dozens ...

Curiosity rover explores 'Yellowknife Bay'

Jan 07, 2013

(Phys.org)—After imaging during the holidays, NASA's Mars rover Curiosity resumed driving Jan. 3 and pulled within arm's reach of a sinuous rock feature called "Snake River."

Recommended for you

Can sound help us detect 'earthquakes' on Venus?

Apr 23, 2015

Detecting an "earthquake" on Venus would seem to be an impossible task. The planet's surface is a hostile zone of crushing pressure and scorching temperatures—about 874 degrees F, hot enough to melt lead—that ...

Titan's atmosphere useful in study of hazy exoplanets

Apr 23, 2015

With more than a thousand confirmed planets outside of our solar system, astronomers are attempting to identify the atmospheres of these distant bodies to determine if they could possibly host life.

User comments : 3

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

deatopmg
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2013
Is there anyone who questions exactly how this picture was taken?
CrowdedCranium
2.3 / 5 (3) Mar 05, 2013
Obviously the repair crew popped a snap before slapping in a new board. Don't come off like a conspiracist.
verkle
1 / 5 (2) Mar 05, 2013
I sure hope board B doesn't come up with a similar glitch. But if their designs are identical....

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.