Poor Spirit. She’s getting old, arthritic and forgetful. The “oldest” of the two Mars Exploration Rovers had another bout of what engineers from JPL are calling “amnesia.” About a week ago, she experienced some unexpected reboots of her computer. Then, she had three good days in a row, completing Earth-commanded activities without incident. But then on April 17 and 18, she became forgetful – she failed to record data into her flash memory (where information is preserved when Spirit is powered down) and rebooted herself again. The last reboot put Spirit into autonomous operation in which the rover keeps itself healthy, and engineers are running diagnostics to try to regain control of the rover.
The rovers are past the 5-year mark, which is still really hard for me to believe.
But they’re still rockin’ and roll’in, sending back scientific information and fun photos…keep your fingers crossed to see how much longer they can keep it up…