Mars Rover works through a technical bump in the road

  • Chicago (IL) - On Sunday, the Mars rover Spirit didn't carry out the instructions it received. Spirit has been on the surface of Mars for 1800 days. On Sunday, the rover reported it had received its instructions okay, but the pictures it sent back showed that it hadn't moved as it should.

    Another oddity, according to NASA, was that the activities of the day were not saved to Spirit's long-term memory unit.

    On Tuesday engineers were able to determine the precise location of the Rover by locating the sun from its camera. The rover was able to follow commands and locate the sun. But, it didn't locate the sun in the place where it had computed it to be.

    As of Wednesday, Spirit seems to be responding again to Earth's commands and actually carrying them out, indicating it may have recovered from the technical glitch.

    The Spirit operators will now begin diagnostics to determine what caused the glitches on Sunday.

    Currently operators have nothing but theories, one being that the electronics of the rover were damaged by a cosmic ray.

    At this point it is believed the problem has corrected itself, but they will continue to run tests until the cause is determined.