Mars Rover Battles ‘Amnesia’ In Middle Of Red Planet Road Trip

Article written: 24 Sep , 2014
Updated: 23 Dec , 2015
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No science data is missing after the Opportunity Mars rover had a brief “amnesia” event last week, NASA said in an update posted yesterday (Sept. 23). The hiccup occurred a few days after the rover had a reformat to correct ongoing memory problems that were stopping it from doing its mission.

The latest incident happened when the rover “woke up” for a day of work. It was unable to mount its Flash memory, which can store information even when the rover is shut off for the night.

An investigation is ongoing, NASA said, but the rover was performing normally as it scooted towards a small crater called Ulysses last week.

The Martian vista near NASA's Opportunity rover on Sept. 17, 2014 (Sol 3786), while it was exploring the rim of Endeavour Crater, en route to Ulysses. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

The Martian vista near NASA’s Opportunity rover on Sept. 17, 2014 (Sol 3786), while it was exploring the rim of Endeavour Crater, en route to Ulysses. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

The journey to Ulysses is taking place over “difficult terrain”, NASA said, but as of Sept. 16 the rover was making progress. It made several drives in the five days before then, including a 98-foot (30-meter) sojourn the day after the memory problem.

Opportunity has spent more than 10 years roaming the Red Planet (it was originally designed to last 90 days). As of Sept. 16, it has driven 25.32 miles (40.75 kilometers) — almost as long as a marathon.

Its medium-range science goal right now is to arrive at Marathon Valley, a location that could have clay minerals in it. Clays are often formed in water-soaked environments, meaning this location could add to the list of ancient water-related finds that spacecraft have found on Mars.

Tracks from the Opportunity rover crisscross Martian soil on Sept. 17, 2014 (Sol 3786). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

Tracks from the Opportunity rover crisscross Martian soil on Sept. 17, 2014 (Sol 3786). Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.

 

 



2 Responses

  1. Member
    Aqua4U says

    Opportunity reminds us that every day is a miracle! GO Oppy!

  2. hugopacilio says

    I do not like, I hope it is resolved soon, I have faith in the team for this rover, have years of experience………

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