Tuesday, July 16, 2019
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NASA's curious rover entered safe mode last week, and we're still not sure why

NASA's Curiosity Mars Rover, which landed in 2014, experienced a "hiccup" at launch last week – but scientists on Earth have brought it back online and are working to rebuild the problem.

"We're still not sure where exactly it lies and are collecting the relevant data for analysis," said Steven Lee, curiosity's deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in a blog post about the incident.

"The rover was reset once by the computer, but has been working normally since then, which is a good sign."

When Curiosity tried to be back online after an inactive time – a process that was completed more than 30 times as posted – a glitch triggered a "security protection" mode.

After a weekend of inactivity, mission control successfully brought the rover back online.

But that does not mean that the curiosity that tests whether the Red Planet could support life is still out of the weeds – especially weeks after NASA had given up hope of reviving its opportunity rover.

Scientists on Earth are working to forensically reconstruct what happens during hiccups by downloading a snapshot of their memory.

They also take a break from their scientific work – which is frustrating for researchers, Space.com emphasized, as they were about to drill a "fascinating rock" about 650 meters from the rover's current location.

"In the short term, we're limiting the commands to the vehicle to minimize changes to its memory," Lee said.

"We do not want to destroy any evidence of what could have reset the computer, so we expect the science to be suspended for a short time."

This article was originally published by Futurism. Read the original article.

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