Mars Orbiter Goes Into Safe Mode

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - NASA engineers are trying to figure out
why an orbiting Mars spacecraft went into safe mode this week.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter rebooted its computer on Monday,
the sixth time it has done so since launching in 2005.

Engineers think the craft may have been hit by a cosmic ray that
caused it to mistakenly believe there was a power surge. The
orbiter is programmed to go into safe mode when it encounters an
unknown event.

An exact cause is still under investigation.

Project managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory say it will
take several days for the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to return to
normal science operations.


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