NASA Probes Mars Rover's Odd Behaviour

World | January 29, 2009, Thursday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
NASA Probes Mars Rover's Odd Behaviour: NASA Probes Mars Rover's Odd Behaviour NASA scientists are planning to carry out diagnostic tests on the Mars rover Spirit, behaving oddly on the Red Planet.

NASA scientists are planning to carry out diagnostic tests on the Mars rover Spirit after it earlier indulged in some "unexplained behavior."

"We don't have a good explanation yet for the way Spirit has been acting for the past few days," said Sharon Laubach, a team chief at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

On Sunday, Spirit reported that it had "received its driving commands for the day but had not moved," which could be a correct decision if the machine did not know its orientation.

Accordingly, NASA on Tuesday commanded the rover to re-establish by pinpointing the sun with its camera. Scientists said Spirit confirmed it had located the sun, "but not in its expected location."

Problems with the wobbly rover's memory were also reported as experts suggest a cause could be "effects from cosmic rays hitting electronics."

Spirit arrived on Mars five years ago to look for signs of water on the Red Planet. The rover was initially expected to spend just 90 days exploring the Martian surface and has outperformed its mission.
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