How NASA plans to cope with Alternative rover’s failing flash reminiscence
Identical to your favourite USB flash drive, the reminiscence on NASA’s Alternative rover is starting to degrade after greater than a decade on Mars. That is led to bouts of “amnesia” the place the rover finally ends up dropping knowledge and always resets, each of which make any kind of critical scientific work troublesome. NASA’s already tried reformatting Alternative to cope with the issue (identical to the Spirit rover 5 years in the past), however after a slight communications blackout over Christmas, the company is now getting ready a software program replace that may forestall the rover from utilizing a selected reminiscence financial institution completely. That’ll hopefully put a cease to Alternative’s forgetfulness, since it can solely be storing knowledge on correctly functioning reminiscence, reviews Discovery Information.
In fact, it is solely a matter of time till the rover conks out completely. However after touring greater than 26 miles on Mars (probably the most of any rover) since 2004, NASA Undertaking Supervisor John Callas hopes that Alternative will survive lengthy sufficient to succeed in the so-referred to as Marathon Valley. That space’s simply 650 meters away from the rover’s present spot, and it options geology a lot older than the Gale crater, the place its sibling Curiosity discovered proof that Mars as soon as held liquid water on its floor for tens of millions of years. Discovery notes that Marathon Valley is wealthy with clay minerals, which is a transparent signal that loads of liquid water was within the space. Alternative has already completed greater than its unique three-month mission referred to as for, however there’s an opportunity its greatest work has but to return.
[Photo:NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.]