NASA is switching the Curiosity Mars rover’s operations to the backup computer and now the rover is in “safe mode”. It will stay in this mode while the engineers will backup the computer to take primary actions of the rover. However, the issue is not reportedly affecting the Curiosity on long-term.
“We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations,” Richard Cook of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which built and operates Curiosity, said in a statement.
Don’t flip out: I just flipped over to my B-side computer while the team looks into an A-side memory issue go.nasa.gov/ZN8xsx
— Curiosity Rover (@MarsCuriosity) March 1, 2013
Engineers found the memory issue on Wednesday when the Curiosity didn’t send the recorded observations to the Earth or switched to a daily sleep mode as it was expected to. The problem may take some days to be resolved.
“We’re still early on in the process,” said Richard Cook, Curiosity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “We have probably several days, maybe a week of activities to get everything back and reconfigured.”
Scientists are working on the cause of the corrupted memory but Space.com reported that the memory may have been damaged by the cosmic rays, which are usually present in the space. Although the rover has protected shields against cosmic rays but it is possible that some particles have been transmitted to the rover’s shell.