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NASA's Spirit faces computer glitches on Mars.

Byline: ANI

Washington, April 14 (ANI): The team operating NASA's Mars Exploration Rover Spirit has determined that barring computer reboots, the vehicle is doing fine.

The researchers are studying are diagnosing why the rover apparently rebooted its computer at least twice over the April 11-12 weekend.

"While we don't have an explanation yet, we do know that Spirit's batteries are charged, the solar arrays are producing energy and temperatures are well within allowable ranges. We have time to respond carefully and investigate this thoroughly," said John Callas Cal·las   , Maria Originally Maria Anna Sophia Cecilia Kalogeropoulos. 1923-1977.

American soprano known for her technical capacity and dramatic intensity. Among her notable operatic roles was the title role in Bellini's Norma.
 of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory “JPL” redirects here. For other uses, see JPL (disambiguation).

Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) is a NASA research center located in the cities of Pasadena and La Cañada Flintridge, near Los Angeles, California, USA.
, Pasadena, California Pasadena is a city in Los Angeles County, California, United States. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 133,936 and the 160th largest city in the United States. The California Finance Department estimates the Pasadena population to be 146,166 in 2005. , project manager for Spirit and twin-rover Opportunity.

"The rover is in a stable operations state called automode and taking care of itself. It could stay in this stable mode for some time if necessary while we diagnose the problem," he added.

Spirit communicated with controllers Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but some of the communication sessions were irregular.

One of the computer resets apparently coincided in timing with operation of the rover's high-gain dish antenna.

The rover team has the advantage of multiple communication options.

Spirit can communicate directly with Earth via either the pointable high-gain antenna The high-gain antenna (HGA) is an antenna with a focused, narrow radiowave beam width. This narrow beam width allows more precise targeting of the radio signal - also known as a directional antenna.  or, at a slower data rate, through a low-gain antenna The low-gain antenna (LGA) is an antenna with a broad radiowave beam width. This very wide beam allows for a more reliable signal that is best used in mountainous regions, where the signal will propagate reasonably well regardless of terrain.  that does not move.

Additionally, communications can be relayed by Mars orbiters, using the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) The range of electromagnetic frequencies from 300 MHz to 3 GHz. In the U.S., analog television has used UHF channels 52 to 69 in the 700 MHz band.  (ultra-high frequency) transceiver, a separate radio system on the rover.

"To avoid potential problems using the pointable antenna, we might consider for the time being just communicating by UHF relay or using the low-gain antenna," Callas said.

Spirit finished its three-month prime mission on Mars Mission: on Mars, invented in New York City in 1998, is a New York-based performing ensemble and music collective that mixes live breakbeat rhythms, Indian classical sitar melodies, space-jazz guitar, middle eastern drones, into a funk chilled crater of moon walking beats.  five years ago and has kept operating through multiple mission extensions.

The rover's onboard software has been updated several times to add new capabilities for the mission, most recently last month.

The team is investigating whether the unexpected behavior in recent days could be related to the new software, but the same software is operating on Opportunity without incident.

"We are aware of the reality that we have an aging rover, and there may be age-related effects here," Callas said. (ANI)

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Publication:Asian News International
Date:Apr 14, 2009
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