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Mars Rover Curiosity Suffers Computer Failure, Tweets 'Don't Flip Out'

04/03/2013 11:52 | Updated 04 May 2013

The Mars rover Curiosity has been placed into 'safe mode' after its computer suffered a major glitch.

Nasa says the computer has fallen prey to a "memory issue".

But don't worry - the rover says it's fine.

On Twitter the rover told its 1.2 million followers not to "flip out" and insisted that its computer was going to be fine.

Nasa reported that it is still troubleshooting an issue which is related to flash memory and that until it is fixed the rover is in "safe mode" via a redundant onboard computer.

"We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations," said Richard Cook of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The craft has maintained communications with Nasa but did not send recorded data, just current status information.

It is possible that the rover's memory could have been damaged by high-energy particles in space - cosmic rays.

Fortunately the B-side computer is able to run all of the functions of the A-side, meaning it will still be able to complete its mission to find signs of life on the planet.

The $2.5 billion rover landed in August 2012, and is the largest and most complex rover ever sent to another planet.

Curiosity's Amazing Mars Pics
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