Science observations resume for Mars orbiter

Sep 21, 2010
Artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter resumed observing Mars with its science instruments on Sept. 18, recovering from an unplanned reboot of its computer three days earlier.

The reboot put the orbiter into a precautionary standby called "safe mode" on Sept. 15. The event appears to have been similar to one the orbiter last experienced on Aug. 26, 2009. For 10 months prior to this latest reboot, the operated normally, making science observations and returning data.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at Mars since 2006, has met the mission's science goals and returned more data than all other Mars missions combined. It completed its primary science phase of operations in November 2008, but continues to observe Mars both for science and for support of future missions that will land on Mars.

The mission is managed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for .

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

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