Curiosity out of safe mode

Nov 13, 2013
This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project received confirmation from Mars Sunday (Nov. 10) that the Curiosity rover has successfully transitioned back into nominal surface operations mode. Curiosity had been in safe mode since Nov. 7, when an unexpected software reboot (also known as a warm reset) occurred during a communications pass with the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Mission science planning will resume tomorrow, and Curiosity science operations will recommence on Thursday.

"We returned to normal engineering operations," said Rajeev Joshi, a software and systems engineer for the Curiosity mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. "We are well into planning the next several days of surface operations and expect to resume our drive to Mount Sharp this week."

After analyzing the data returned by the spacecraft on Thursday evening, Nov. 7 (Pacific Time), the Curiosity operations team was able to determine the root cause. An error in existing onboard software resulted in an error in a catalog file. This caused an unexpected reset when the catalog was processed by a new version of flight software which had been installed on Thursday. The team was able to replicate the problem on ground testbeds the following day. Commands recovering the spacecraft were uplinked to the spacecraft early Sunday morning.

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Project is using Curiosity to assess whether areas inside Gale Crater ever offered a habitable environment for microbes. JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, manages the project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate in Washington.

Explore further: Curiosity performs warm reset

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Curiosity performs warm reset

Nov 11, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars rover Curiosity experienced an unexpected software reboot (also known as a warm reset) yesterday (11/7/13) during a communications pass as it was sending engineering and science ...

Curiosity rover exits 'safe mode'

Mar 20, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars rover Curiosity has returned to active status and is on track to resume science investigations, following two days in a precautionary standby status, "safe mode."

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 rover's recovery moving forward

Mar 12, 2013

(Phys.org) —NASA's Mars rover Curiosity continues to move forward with assessment and recovery from a memory glitch that affected the rover's A-side computer. Curiosity has two computers that are redundant ...

Explore a room with a Mars view

Aug 05, 2012

(Phys.org) -- On the evening of Sunday, Aug. 5, the focal point of Martian activity here on Earth will be located in the Mission Support Area in Building 230 at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, ...

Recommended for you

Astronauts to reveal sobering data on asteroid impacts

53 minutes ago

This Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, three former NASA astronauts will present new evidence that our planet has experienced many more large-scale asteroid impacts over the past decade than previously thought… ...

Rosetta instrument commissioning continues

1 hour ago

We're now in week four of six dedicated to commissioning Rosetta's science instruments after the long hibernation period, with the majority now having completed at least a first initial switch on.

Astronaut salary

1 hour ago

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Red moon at night; stargazer's delight

21 hours ago

Monday night's lunar eclipse proved just as delightful as expected to those able to view it. On the East Coast, cloudy skies may have gotten in the way, but at the National Science Foundation's National Optical ...

Meteorites yield clues to Martian early atmosphere

23 hours ago

(Phys.org) —Geologists who analyzed 40 meteorites that fell to Earth from Mars unlocked secrets of the Martian atmosphere hidden in the chemical signatures of these ancient rocks. Their study, published ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

A sharp eye on Southern binary stars

Unlike our sun, with its retinue of orbiting planets, many stars in the sky orbit around a second star. These binary stars, with orbital periods ranging from days to centuries, have long been the primary ...

Hubble image: A cross-section of the universe

An image of a galaxy cluster taken by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope gives a remarkable cross-section of the Universe, showing objects at different distances and stages in cosmic history. They range ...

Astronaut salary

Talk about a high-flying career! Being a government astronaut means you have the chance to go into space and take part in some neat projects—such as going on spacewalks, moving robotic arms and doing science ...

Cosmologists weigh cosmic filaments and voids

(Phys.org) —Cosmologists have established that much of the stuff of the universe is made of dark matter, a mysterious, invisible substance that can't be directly detected but which exerts a gravitational ...

Tiny power plants hold promise for nuclear energy

Small underground nuclear power plants that could be cheaper to build than their behemoth counterparts may herald the future for an energy industry under intense scrutiny since the Fukushima disaster, the ...

Hand out money with my mobile? I think I'm ready

A service is soon to launch in the UK that will enable us to transfer money to other people using just their name and mobile number. Paym is being hailed as a revolution in banking because you can pay peopl ...