[meteorite-list] MRO Team Returning Mars Orbiter to Duty After Computer Swap

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Apr 2015 09:51:34 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <201504031651.t33GpY23003411_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


Team Returning Orbiter to Duty After Computer Swap
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
April 2, 2015

Mission Status Report

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at Mars since 2006, made an unplanned
switch on Wednesday from one main computer to a redundant one onboard,
triggering a hiatus in planned activities.

Sensing the computer swap, the orbiter put itself into a precautionary
safe standby mode. It remained healthy, in communication and fully powered.
The mission's operations team expects the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter
to resume full duty within a few days, including communication relays
and science observations.

The orbiter has experienced this type of unplanned computer swap six times
previously, starting in 2007 and including two occasions in 2014.

"We never quite know when it's going to happen, but we know what to do
when it does," said Reid Thomas, mission manager for Mars Reconnaissance
Orbiter at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California.

Shifts between the spacecraft's redundant "Side A" and "Side B" main computers
leave a clear signature that enables the team to quickly diagnose what
happened and send commands beginning the process of restoring the orbiter
to full operations. The latest swap put the spacecraft onto the Side B

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter entered orbit around the Red Planet
on March 10, 2006. Since then, it has returned more data than all other
past and current interplanetary missions combined, with a current tally
of 249 terabits.

The mission met all its science goals in a two-year primary science phase.
Four extensions, the latest beginning in 2014, have added to the science
returns. The longevity of the mission has given researchers tools to study
seasonal and longer-term changes on the Mars. Among other current activities,
the orbiter is examining possible landing sites for future missions to
Mars and relaying communications to Earth from NASA's two active Mars

JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages
the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter for NASA's Science Mission Directorate,
Washington. Lockheed Martin Space Systems, Denver, built the orbiter and
collaborates with JPL to operate it. For more information about the Mars
Reconnaissance Orbiter, visit:


http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mro/ .

Media Contact

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

Received on Fri 03 Apr 2015 12:51:34 PM PDT

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