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Mars Curiosity rover back to active status after 'safe mode' standby

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Mars Curiosity rover self-portrait
Mars Curiosity rover self-portrait

NASA's Curiosity rover on mars is back in action after two days in "safe mode." It is still operating on its B-side computer, after the A-side computer began suffering from issues a couple of weeks ago that may have been caused by cosmic rays. This more recent problem was a "software issue" that NASA's engineers say can be resolved, and the original A-side computer is still available as a backup should the need arise. Score one for redundant systems.

NASA says it still needs to run a few checks on the active computer, and after that make preparations for a month of not sending more software commands to the rover. The sun will soon come between the Earth and Mars and NASA doesn't want to risk any of its commands getting screwed up by interference during that period.

Curiosity has discovered signs that Mars was once capable of supporting life, but unfortunately definitive proof has still eluded us.