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March 1 2013

Mars Rover Curiosity Has First Big Malfunction


The Mars rover Curiosity experienced its first significant malfunction on Wednesday, when one of its two onboard computers became corrupted and failed to turn off and enter "sleep mode" as planned.

The Curiosity team at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory sent up commands to switch all operations from the corrupted A computer to the twin B computer early Thursday morning, according to a Thursday NASA statement.

Most spacecraft have a backup computer to step in if the primary computer fails.

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