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Explore Mars event
Mars Odyssey goes into safe mode
Posted: Wed, Dec 2, 2009, 5:48 AM ET (1048 GMT)
Mars Odyssey spacecraft illustration NASA's Mars Odyssey has gone into safe mode because of a computer glitch, project officials said Tuesday, complicating separate efforts to free a rover stuck on the Martian surface. Mars Odyssey went into safe mode on Saturday because of a memory error, similar to an event that put the spacecraft into safe mode in June 2008. Project engineers commanded the spacecraft to perform a reboot of its onboard computer as part of the process to restoring normal operations, and expect to be back to normal by the end of this week. In additional to scientific work, Mars Odyssey also serves as a communications relay for the Mars Exploration Rovers on the surface, including Spirit, which is currently carrying out a series of maneuvers to try and free itself from a sand pit it has been stuck in since April. NASA's other Mars orbiter, the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, has been in a safe mode since August because of a repeated series of spontaneous reboots not thought to be connected to Odyssey's problems.
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