NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Is Back in Action

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Over the last weekend, Curiosity drove about 60 meters and reached a site called Lake Orcadie, achieving a total of 12 kilometers in its journey on Mars. That was the first time NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover has been on the move since a memory anomaly on September 15th forced NASA engineers to switch the rover’s internal storage to a spare computer, Side-A, on October 3rd.

Now, after about a month on the new hard drive, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover is back in action to study the Red Planet further. In the meantime, NASA engineers are still struggling to solve out the anomaly which affected the Side-B computer of the Curiosity rover.

“Engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this week commanded the agency’s Curiosity rover to switch to its second computer. The switch will enable engineers to do a detailed diagnosis of a technical issue that has prevented the rover’s active computer from storing science and some key engineering data since Sept. 15,” said NASA on its official site.

NASA’s Curiosity Mars Rover Is Back in Action

“Side-A experienced hardware and software issues over five years ago on sol 200 of the mission, leaving the rover uncommandable and running down its battery. At that time, the team successfully switched to Side B. Engineers have since diagnosed and quarantined the part of Side A’s memory that was affected so that computer is again available to support the mission,” explained NASA.

“At this point, we’re confident we’ll be getting back to full operations, but it’s too early to say how soon. We are operating on Side A starting today, but it could take us time to fully understand the root cause of the issue and devise workarounds for the memory on Side B,” explained back then Steven Lee of NASA’s JPL, NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover’s deputy project manager.

Luckily, the Side-A operates as good as expected and is now helping NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover continue its scientific mission on the Red Planet.

Vadim Ioan Caraiman

With over seven years of experience in online journalism, Vadim is passionate about everything related to science and the environment. For us, he will thus cover climate, environment, and science news, among others.


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