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Mars rover back to full science operations

PASADENA, Calif., March 25 (UPI) — NASA says its Mars rover Curiosity is back to doing science after recovering from a computer glitch that switched it to a redundant main computer last month.

The unmanned rover has returned to monitoring the weather and has delivered a new portion of powdered-rock sample for laboratory analysis, among other activities, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported Monday.

“We are back to full science operations,” Curiosity Deputy Project Manager Jim Erickson said.

The computer glitch Feb. 28 caused engineers to switch from Curiosity’s A-side computer to the redundant B-side unit, which is now controlling the rover’s operations.

The A-side glitch has been corrected and it is now available as the backup, JPL said.

A software issue prompted Curiosity to put itself into a precautionary standby “safe mode” on March 16, but engineers said they have resolved the problem and know how to prevent it from happening again.

The rover stayed on its B-side computer while it was in safe mode and remained in the configuration as science activities resumed, the laboratory said.

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

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