NASA - Mars Curiosity on the Move Again

A self-portrait of NASA's Curiosity rover taken on Sol 2082 (June 15, 2018). A Martian dust storm has reduced sunlight and visibility at the rover's location in Gale Crater.

Updated at 11 a.m. PST on Nov. 6, 2018
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover drove about 197 feet (60 meters) over the weekend to a site called Lake Orcadie, pushing its total odometry to over 12 miles (20 kilometers). This was Curiosity's longest drive since experiencing a memory anomaly on Sept. 15. The rover switched to a spare computer, called the Side-A computer, on Oct. 3.
After more than two weeks of science operations, and now with this latest drive, the mission is back to business. The team plans to drill a new target later this week.
Curiosity's engineering team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory continues to diagnose the anomaly on the Side-B computer.

Original story posted October 3, 2018
Curiosity Rover to Temporarily Switch 'Brains'
Engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, this week commanded the agency's Curiosity rover to switch to its second computer. The switch will enable engineers to do a detailed diagnosis of a technical issue that has prevented the rover's active computer from storing science and some key engineering data since Sept. 15.
Like many NASA spacecraft, Curiosity was designed with two, redundant computers -- in this case, referred to as a Side-A and a Side-B computer -- so that it can continue operations if one experiences a glitch. After reviewing several options, JPL engineers recommended that the rover switch from Side B to Side A, the computer the rover used initially after landing.
Five years since it landed near Mount Sharp on Mars in August 2017 and nearly three years since reaching the base of the mountain, NASA's Curiosity Mars rover is climbing toward multiple layers of Mount Sharp visible in this view from the rover's Mast Camera.
The rover continues to send limited engineering data stored in short-term memory when it connects to a relay orbiter. It is otherwise healthy and receiving commands. But whatever is preventing Curiosity from storing science data in long-term memory is also preventing the storage of the rover's event records, a journal of all its actions that engineers need in order to make a diagnosis. The computer swap will allow data and event records to be stored on the Side-A computer.
rugged landscape
Side A experienced hardware and software issues over five years ago on sol 200 of the mission, leaving the rover uncommandable and running down its battery. At that time, the team successfully switched to Side B. Engineers have since diagnosed and quarantined the part of Side A's memory that was affected so that computer is again available to support the mission.
Pictured here are the higher regions of Mt. Sharp.
"At this point, we're confident we'll be getting back to full operations, but it's too early to say how soon," said Steven Lee of JPL, Curiosity's deputy project manager. "We are operating on Side A starting today, but it could take us time to fully understand the root cause of the issue and devise workarounds for the memory on Side B.
The dark, smooth-surfaced rock at the center of this Oct. 30, 2016, image from the Mast Camera (Mastcam) on NASA's Curiosity Mars rover was examined with laser pulses and confirmed to be an iron-nickel meteorite.  It is about the size of a golf ball.
"We spent the last week checking out Side A and preparing it for the swap," Lee said. "It's certainly possible to run the mission on the Side-A computer if we really need to. But our plan is to switch back to Side B as soon as we can fix the problem to utilize its larger memory size."

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