Software glitch in NASA Mars rover

March 18, 2013 at 9:26 PM   |   Comments

PASADENA, Calif., March 18 (UPI) -- NASA says its Mars Curiosity rover that put itself into "safe mode" because of a software issue is expected to resume science investigations in a few days.

The automated fault-protection action was triggered about 11 p.m. Saturday on March 16, while operating on the B-side computer, one of its two main computers that are redundant to each other, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., reported Monday.

It did not switch to the A-side computer, which was restored last week after a memory and is available as a backup if needed, NASA said.

JPL engineers said the rover is stable, healthy and in communication with controllers.

The safe-mode entry was initiated when a command file failed a size-check by the rover's protective software. Engineers said a software bug had appended an unrelated file to the file being checked, causing the mismatch.

"This is a very straightforward matter to deal with," JPL Curiosity project manager Richard Cook said. "We can just delete that file, which we don't need any more, and we know how to keep this from occurring in the future."

Curiosity's science observations have been on hold since a memory glitch on the A-side computer Feb. 27, which prompted controllers to command a swap to the B-side computer.

Cautiously bringing Curiosity out of safe mode status on the B-side is expected to take a couple of days, JPL said.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

2014: The Year in Music [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
Endangered bats find sanctuary in Vermont power plant
Whale spotted in Virginia's Elizabeth River
Navy aviation tests combined unmanned, manned operations
Bill Gates to Mark Zuckerberg: I'll take the ice bucket challenge, and improve it
Latvia boasts world's first net for migrating bats
Trending News