Glitchy NASA Mars Curiosity rover gets back to science

NASA is still looking into the rover's problems, but it's going to get some science done in the meantime.

Amanda Kooser
Freelance writer Amanda C. Kooser covers gadgets and tech news with a twist for CNET. When not wallowing in weird gear and iPad apps for cats, she can be found tinkering with her 1956 DeSoto.
Amanda Kooser
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NASA's Curiosity rover snapped this image with its front hazcam on Oct. 13.


Things are looking a little rosier for NASA on the red planet.

The Mars Curiosity rover encountered a problem in mid-September that prevented it from properly sending stored data back to Earth. This put an unexpected halt to the machine's science operations as NASA worked to sort out the problem and switch the rover to a backup computer.

This memory anomaly is still under investigation, but Curiosity team member Sarah Lamm from Northern Arizona University said Friday that it'll resume limited science operations. 

One interesting development is that the mission team is taking images with an engineering camera that hasn't been used since 2013. 

NASA is also once again posting raw images from Curiosity's cameras, including a view from a front hazard-avoidance camera that shows the rocky landscape at Vera Rubin Ridge.

Curiosity's return to science is a welcome piece of good news for NASA, which is still trying to regain contact with the Mars Opportunity rover. Opportunity went into hibernation in June after a dust storm blotted out its solar panels and it hasn't been heard from since.

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