NASA revealed that the Curiosity rover on Mars stopped and powered down into safe mode on July 2.
NASA announced Wednesday that they have problems with Curiosity. The Mars Rover put itself into safe mode on July 2, ceasing most activities other than keeping itself healthy and following a prescribed sequence for resuming communications. NASA says that Curiosity is now communicating with ground controllers and is stable.
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Engineers are working to determine the cause of safe-mode entry. Preliminary information indicates an unexpected mismatch between camera software and data-processing software in the main computer. The near-term steps toward resuming full activities begin with requesting more diagnostic information from Curiosity.
NASA waited several days with the report that something is wrong with Curiosity. The delay might be caused by the 4th of July weekend and all eyes anyway have been on Juno and its entry into the Jupiter orbit on Independence Day.
There have been three instances that Curiosity has entered safe mode, all of them took place in during 2013. The Mars robot rover worked fine for three years now.
The rover landed in Mars' Gale Crater in August 2012. During its first year on Mars, the mission achieved its goal by determining that, more than 3 billion years ago, the region offered fresh-water lakes and rivers with environmental conditions well-suited to supporting microbial life, if life has ever existed on Mars.
NASA last week approved an additional two-year extension, beginning Oct. 1, 2016, for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which developed and operates Curiosity. If the NASA team can fix the problem, Curiosity has another two years to roam Mars.
Via the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Mars center.
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