A self portrait of the Mars rover Curiosity built from a mosaic of 66 images taken on 3 February.
Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/MSSS


NASA’s Curiosity begins to resume operations after glitch

By Paul Sutherland
06 March 2013
(Sen) - A puzzling memory glitch that hit Mars rover Curiosity’s main computer last week halting its operations appears to have been overcome, according to NASA.

The ground team for Mars Science Laboratory, as the rover is properly known, put it into so-called safe mode last Thursday, 28 February, as a precaution.

They took prompt action after the A-side computer that Curiosity had been using showed symptoms of a corrupted memory location and refused to send data back to mission control or switch to sleep mode.

Scientific observations had to come to a temporary halt to the disappointment of scientists whose onboard instruments had begun analysing a sample of powder drilled from the inside of a rock on Mars.

The rover’s Chemistry and Mineralogy (CheMin) and Sample Analysis at Mars (SAM) instruments had been fed portions of the sample on 22 and 23 February for inspection.

But yesterday mission controllers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory announced they had put Curiosity back into active status on Saturday and begun using its high-gain antenna to transmit information again on Sunday.

Full operations by the rover are expected to be resumed by next week.

Read more: NASA's Curiosity begins to resume operations after glitch — Sen.

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