[meteorite-list] Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Resumes Normal Science Operations

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2009 13:22:35 -0800 (PST)
Message-ID: <200903042122.NAA29170_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Orbiter Resumes Normal Science Operations
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
March 03, 2009

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report

PASADENA, Calif. -- NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter has fully
recovered from an unexpected computer re-set last week and resumed its
scientific investigation of Mars.

The mission's flight-team engineers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory,
Pasadena, Calif., and at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, sent
commands Monday, March 2, to power up the spacecraft's science
instruments. Observations by the instruments resumed Tuesday morning
after confirmation of instrument health and proper temperatures.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter had rebooted its computer Monday
morning, Feb. 23, and put itself temporarily into a limited-activity
"safe" mode that is an automated safety response. After analysis of the
situation, including ground-based tests simulating the spacecraft
events, engineers took the spacecraft out of safe mode on Saturday.

"We have proceeded cautiously, checking the health and performance of
the spacecraft at each step as we brought it back to full, normal
operations," said JPL's Dan Johnston, mission manager for the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter.

The team found that a voltage reading might have triggered the Feb. 23
reboot and that the event could have resulted from a cosmic-ray hit
causing an erroneous voltage reading. Ground simulations have confirmed
the expected spacecraft behavior due to the erroneous voltage reading.
Since the Feb. 23 event, the spacecraft systems have continued to
perform as expected.

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, manages the
Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate,
Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems is the prime contractor for
the project and built the spacecraft. For more information about the
mission, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/mro .

Media contact: Guy Webster 818-354-6278
Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.
guy.webster at jpl.nasa.gov

Received on Wed 04 Mar 2009 04:22:35 PM PST

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