STATES CHRONICLE – The Curiosity Rover is a testament to how resilient NASA tech can really be. The robot has already gone through five years without any physical maintenance on a harsh and arid red wasteland.
In the past half of a decade, the Curiosity Rover suffered a broken arm, got stuck on a hill, it punched a nasty hole through one of its wheels, as well as losing the focus ability in one of its cameras.
Nevertheless, with each obstacle, NASA proved they could get around the problem as they could not physically address it.
The Curious Case of the Curiosity Rover Glitch
The latest snag the Curiosity Rover hit was Saturday, July 2nd when it suffered a partial shutdown. NASA lost communication with it, but the scientists confidently waited.
The Curiosity Rover incurred a software glitch which forced it into a safe mode reboot. The glitch was caused by the cameras during an attempt to save image data on its main computer.
After rebooting to safe mode, the Curiosity Rover had shut down most of its essential functions while performing a diagnosis check. While the communication link with NASA was one of the first things to go back online, the little robot needed a bit over a week to recover full functionality.
While Curiosity was slowly booting up all its functions, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory worked hard and found a way to bypass and work around the faulty imaging software.
Curiosity should hopefully have no problem in saving the photos it takes to its computer.
The number of issues that the Curiosity Rover has run into would have overwhelmed NASA in the past, but they have stepped up their game and will continue to do so. Even though, the scientists would love to be able to give a physical tune-up to their little Mars explorer, Curiosity is still out of reach.
NASA has also approved an extension to the Curiosity’s original mission. The Curiosity will be happily taking photos of the red planet for another two more years, well until the end of 2018.
Until that time, we hope the little Curiosity Rover has an easier time and does not run into any more trouble, although a future mission could be sending it into several canyons near the planet’s equator to look for water.
Photograph Courtesy of NASA and Flickr.