NASA's Mars Orbiter still functional after suffering computer glitch
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) made an unscheduled computer swap on March 9, forcing the mission into a temporary "safe mode."
According to the mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, the cause of the glitch is a mystery.
However, the mission's ground team are currently restoring the spacecraft to full operations, Discovery News reported.
The glitch not only suspended orbital science operations, but it also suspended communication relay services for NASA's two Mars rovers, Opportunity and Curiosity.
Both rover missions are now using NASA's veteran Mars Odyssey satellite as a relay satellite.
The MRO carries six science payloads including the famous High-Resolution Imaging Science Experiment (HiRISE) camera that has been observing the red planet at an unparallelled resolution.
JPL's Dan Johnston, MRO Project Manager said that the spacecraft is healthy, in communication and fully powered.
He said that they have stepped up the communication data rate, and plan to have the spacecraft back to full operations within a few days.
(Posted on 12-03-2014)