Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mars Robot Spirit Rebooted Itself - Twice

"Mars Rover Inexplicably Reboots Computer"
Space.com (April 14, 2009)

"NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit mysteriously rebooted its computer twice over the weekend; mission controllers are examining data sent back by Spirit to see if they can diagnose the problem behind the glitch...."

Realistically, it's a fairly old piece of hardware: Spirit and Opportunity have been on Mars for over five years. (See "Five Years on Mars - Rovers: Spirit and Opportunity" Space.com video (3:54))

And, Mars is a rough place. Although the dust storms kept Spirit's solar panels clear all these years.

The science fiction fan in me, of course, came up with some colorful ideas that might make good stories: Spirit's multiple reboots are due to the robot 'waking up;' or maybe 'They' have been fiddling with the equipment.

And no, I don't think so.

Other posts, about "Mars, Mostly."

2 comments:

Brigid said...

My first reaction on seeing the headline was "How'd a computer virus get all the way out there?"

Brian, aka Nanoc, aka Norski said...

Brigid,

That possibility wasn't mentioned, if my memory serves: but it could happen. The software originated on Earth, and there has been communication for five years.

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