Engineers probing why Mars orbiter unexpectedly entered safe mode; 6th time since 2005 launch – Los Angeles Times

By | February 28, 2009

NASA engineers are trying to figure out why an orbiting Mars spacecraft went into safe mode this week.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter rebooted its computer Monday, the sixth time it has done so since launching in 2005.Engineers think the craft may have been hit by a cosmic ray that caused it to mistakenly believe there was a power surge. The orbiter is programmed to go into safe mode when it encounters an unknown event.

An exact cause is still under investigation.

Project managers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory say it will take several days for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to return to normal science operations.

via Engineers probing why Mars orbiter unexpectedly entered safe mode; 6th time since 2005 launch – Los Angeles Times.

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