NASA’s Opportunity Mars Rover Suffers More Amnesia

NASA's Opportunity Mars rover examines a rock dubbed "Athens" in this image taken on March 25, 2015, by the rover's front hazard avoidance camera. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech)
NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover examines a rock dubbed “Athens” in this image taken on March 25, 2015, by the rover’s front hazard avoidance camera. (PHOTO CREDIT: NASA/JPL-Caltech)

NASA’s Opportunity Mars rover has suffered another bout of amnesia, less than a week after engineers installed a software upgrade intended to fix the robot’s memory issues.

The long-lived Opportunity rover began experiencing problems with its flash memory — the kind that can store data even when the power is off — in late 2014. On March 20, mission engineers uploaded new software that aimed to fix the issue by bypassing an apparently faulty “bank.” (The rover has seven such flash memory banks.)

But Opportunity experienced another brief amnesia episode on March 25, NASA officials said.

“Although we are a little disappointed at the occurrence of an amnesia event only five days after reformatting, we are not surprised,” John Callas, Opportunity project manager at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said in a statement. There is still no clear understanding of what is causing the problems. Only time will tell if we have been successful in mitigating the most serious flash problems.”

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SOURCE: Space.com, Mike Wall

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