Advertisement

Testing to diagnose electrical problem in Mars rover's robotic arm

The problem could force engineers to suspend the use of certain mechanisms.

By Brooks Hays
Testing to diagnose electrical problem in Mars rover's robotic arm
Curiosity's frozen drill arm, shortly after the short circuit wad detected. Photo by NASA/JPL

PASADENA, Calif., March 4 (UPI) -- After telemetry data revealed a short circuit in Curiosity's robotic drill arm, NASA engineers halted the Mars rover's work last week to better diagnose the problem.

The rover has remained stationary since February 27, as engineers conduct and analyze the results of several diagnostic tests.

Advertisement

"We are running tests on the vehicle in its present configuration before we move the arm or drive," Jim Erickson, Curiosity project leader at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, said in a press release. "This gives us the best opportunity to determine where the short is."

Curiosity was collecting rock powder when from a locale called "Telegraph Peak" when the irregularity was detected. Curiosity is designed to automatically stop the mechanical action.

The short could turn out to be minor, with little to no effect on the rover's functionality; but officials say it could also force engineers to suspend the use of certain mechanisms.

The rover's work stoppage is expected to last a few more days.

Latest Headlines

Advertisement
Advertisement

Follow Us

Advertisement