NASA's Mars Curiosity Rover drove about 197 meters (60 meters) this weekend to a place called Lake Orcadie. This was…
NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover drove about 197 meters (60 meters) this weekend to a place called Lake Orcadie. This was the longest drive of curiosity since it experienced a memory deviation on September 15th.
NASA Curiosity Mars Rover sent this snapshot Tuesday (November 6, 2018). Image via NASA.
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NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover runs and leads science again after experiencing a memory anomaly in September. The rover drove over 197 feet (60 meters) during the last weekend to a place called Orcadie Lake, and drove its total odometry to over 12 miles (20 kilometers). This was the longest drive of curiosity since September 1
5, 2018, experiencing a memory deviation. The rover switched to a spare computer, called the Side-A computer, October 3rd.
Like many spacecraft, curiosity was designed with two redundant computers – in this case, a Side-A and a Side-B computer – so it can continue to operate if you experience a glitch. After reviewing several options, JPL engineers recommended that rover switches from page B to page A.
A self portrait of NASA’s curiosity movement taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A mart’s dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover’s place in the Gale Crater. Image via NASA / JPL-Caltech.
The ingenious team of engineering at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory continues to diagnose anomaly on the page B computer. Curiosity used the Page A computer only after landing on Mars in August 2012. Page An experienced hardware and software problem over five years ago, NASA said, leaves the rover undeniable and runs down its battery. At that time, the team successfully switched to page B. Engineers have since diagnosed and quarantined the part of Page’s A memory that was affected so that the computer is again available to support the mission. Steven Lee of JPL is Curiosity Assistant Project Leader. Lee said in a statement:
At this time, we are convinced that we will return to full activity, but it is too early to say how soon. We run page A from today, but it may take time to fully understand the cause of the problem and develop solutions for memory on page B.
We spent the last week on page A and prepared it for the change. It’s certainly possible to run the mission on the Page-A computer if we really need. But our plan is to switch back to page B as soon as we can solve the problem to take advantage of its larger memory size.
Bottom line: NASA’s Mars Curiosity Rover has made its longest drive since it experienced a memory anomaly on September 15, 2018.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series, almost since it began until 2013. Today, as a leader on EarthSky .org, She helps present science and natural stories and pictures you like. She also works as EarthSky’s voices on social media, including Facebook, Twitter and G +. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two adult sons.
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