The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) reports that the Mars rover Curiosity recently put itself into safe mode after a software bug caused a command file to fail a size-check.
However, this is not viewed as a major problem for the NASA team. "We can just delete that file, which we don't need any more, and we know how to keep this from occurring in the future," says Curiosity project manager Richard Cook.
Curiosity's work has been on hold since Feb. 27, when a memory glitch on its main, or A-side, computer halted the rover's activities. The glitch forced NASA to switch from the rover's A-side computer to its backup system, or B-side. Curiosity's B-side currently is running the rover, and the A-side has been repaired and will act as the new backup system.
NASA recently announced that Curiosity sent home data proving that Mars could have supported life in the distant past. Curiosity uses an infrared-imaging capability in one of its cameras and an instrument that shoots neutrons into the ground to probe for life-sustaining chemicals.
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