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NASA brings Curiosity rover back to life after it slipped into safe mode
NASA doesn't want to lose another rover on the Red Planet.
NASA's Curiosity Mars rover went into "safe mode" after it ran into issues while booting up. The rover, which touched down Mars in 2014, was brought back to life and are trying to understand what went wrong.
"We're still not sure of its exact cause and are gathering the relevant data for analysis," said Steven Lee, Curiosity's deputy project manager at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "The rover experienced a one-time computer reset but has operated normally ever since, which is a good sign."
According to the post, a glitch made the rover go into "protective safe mode" and it took Curiosity 30x more time to come back online after staying inactive for a while. After a few days of inactivity, the Curiosity scientists successfully brought the rover back online.
But this 'hiccup' doesn't mean that the rover who's monitoring the Red Planet for potential resources to support life is out of service - especially at a time when the space agency bid adieu to its Opportunity rover.
The team working on Curiosity are working to reconstruct the glitch that led the rover into safe mode by downloading a snapshot of its memory.
"In the short term, we are limiting commands to the vehicle to minimize changes to its memory," Lee said. "We don't want to destroy any evidence of what might have caused the computer reset. As a result, we expect science operations will be suspended for a short period of time."