Cerca QUI

Curiosity Is Back In Business on Mars

So, in case you haven’t been keeping track, the NASA Mars Curiosity rover suffered a weird glitch last month that made it very difficult for the craft to conduct its work. Granted, the Curiosity rover is a one-ton piece of massive, modern technology working millions of miles from Earth. So, hey, if it has a problem, it can be expected.
Still, it has a job to do, so when the robotic arm successfully transferred powdered rock samples to its analytical instrument and then started driving, it was quite the relief after more than a week of stagnation. It was actually in the middle of transferring this exact sample when the short circuit occurred, at a rock that NASA calls “Telegraph Peak.”

Curiosity Project Scientists Ashwin Vasavada, from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, in Pasadena, CA, comments, “That precious Telegraph Peak sample had been sitting in the arm, so tantalizing close, for two weeks. We are really excited to get it delivered for analysis.”
Curiosity
And since that time engineers have been painstakingly trying to figure out exactly what went wrong and what they can do to fix it. From the tests that they could conduct through the instrumentation, they believed that the short circuit could have originated within the percussive mechanism in the arm-mounted drill (the one that both hammers the rock and rotates to bore into the rock).
But even though the arm is working again, NASA still don’t really know what’s wrong, so, of course, they will continue to conduct more tests. Since Curiosity landed on Mars in August of 2012 it has already conducted six sample-collecting drilling operations before the dreaded short circuit, so they do have at least five successful attempts to see what is different.

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