Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Mars Rover Mysterious Reboots

A mystery, heh? As Mr. Spock would say, "Fascinating." Mars rover has mysterious reboots Last Modified: 14 Apr 2009 Source: PA News Nasa's ageing Mars rover Spirit has rebooted its computer at least twice for unknown reasons. Rover project manager John Callas at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena said the rover is in a stable operations state called automode and can remain that way for some time while the problem is diagnosed. The reboots occurred during the past weekend. Callas says Spirit's batteries are charged, its solar arrays are producing energy and its temperatures are within allowable ranges. The rover team is investigating whether the problem could be related to recent updates of the rover's onboard software. Spirit and its twin, Opportunity, have been exploring the cold and dusty red planet since 2004. ****************************************************************************** When I think about it, I find it absolutely amazing that this project, funded basically on a shoestring (for NASA and JPL), is still going strong! We should give good old American ingenuity a pat on the back! It's taken a beating lately; critics are saying "oh, India is going to pass us up," "oh, China is going to pass us up." Yeah, 20 years ago they were saying that Japan was going to pass us up. Well, I think the critics are flat out wrong. I have a feeling that under the Obama administration's push to get renewal energy sources really rolling in this country, we're going to be seeing some truly remarkable things and as a world we're going to finally realize that hey, we're just a year away from making it into the second decade of the 21st century. Now, about those mysterious reboots - is is really just a new software problem? Or are there some kind of invisible (or really really miniscule) Martians running around playing April Fools tricks on us???

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