Opportunity rover with memory problems


The Opportunity rover begins to forget after ten years of exploration of Mars surface. The Opportunity's memory seems to be worn in use, which means that Rover can forget about data stored when it's turned off.NGCI Mars Rover - IBMS: #026356 NGCUS Five Years on Mars - Ep Code: 3963

Opportunity began exploring the planet 2004, and uses two kinds of memory. Scientists call them "volatile" and "non-volatile". Non-volatile memory is something like a computer's hard drive and is used to store information that the rover should hold when it is shut down.

However, the rover is constantly losing data when it re-starts unexpectedly. The Mars Rover Opportunity Manager, NASA's John Callas, compares the problem with a disease.

"The problems started off quite mild, but now they have become much more serious - it looks like a disease, the symptoms have been mild, but now as time goes on things have become more serious," Callas told Discovery News.Opportunity 1

The problem grew, and by Christmas, Rover had ceased to communicate with the Earth. He failed to execute instructions given to him, although he had contact with his auditors.

NASA scientists believe they can handle the problem. It seems that one of the seven memory banks embedded in the rover is causing problems, and they hope that if they isolate the problem, Rover will continue to function normally with the other six.

But to do this, scientists will need to write a new software and then load it and install it in Opportunity. This is expected to happen in the next two weeks.

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