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Mars rover recovering from computer glitch

This NASA image taken on February 3, 2013 shows a self-portrait of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity created by a combination of dozens of exposures taken by the rover's Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), on the surface of Mars, February 20, 2013. UPI/NASA
This NASA image taken on February 3, 2013 shows a self-portrait of NASA’s Mars rover Curiosity created by a combination of dozens of exposures taken by the rover’s Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI), on the surface of Mars, February 20, 2013. UPI/NASA

PASADENA, Calif., March 4 (UPI) — NASA says the Mars rover Curiosity has transitioned from precautionary “safe mode” to active status as it recovers from last week’s computer memory glitch.

After an “A-side” computer demonstrated symptoms of a corrupted memory location Feb. 28, controllers switched to the redundant “B-side” computer, a switchover that automatically put the rover into minimal-activity safe mode.

Curiosity exited safe mode on Saturday and resumed sending data using its high-gain antenna on Sunday, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported.

“We are making good progress in the recovery,” Mars Science Laboratory Project Manager Richard Cook said Monday. “One path of progress is evaluating the A-side with intent to recover it as a backup.

“Also, we need to go through a series of steps with the B-side, such as informing the computer about the state of the rover — the position of the arm, the position of the mast, that kind of information.”

Resumption of full operations is anticipated by next week although the cause of the A-side’s memory problems remains to be determined, JPL said.

Copyright 2013 United Press International, Inc. (UPI).

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