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The command and data handling system – a radiation-hardened 12 megahertz Mongoose V processor guided by intricate flight software – is the spacecraft’s “brain.” The processor distributes operating commands to each subsystem, collects and processes instrument data, and sequences information sent back to Earth. It also runs the advanced “autonomy” algorithms that allow the spacecraft to check the status of each system and, if necessary, correct any problems, switch to backup systems or contact operators on Earth for help.
originally posted by: wildespace
originally posted by: Ross 54
The New Horizons space probe approaching Pluto suffered a technical fault on Saturday. It is currently able to communicate with Earth, but is in safe mode, which means that it is unable to do any new photography, or other scientific work for the moment.
The mission team will analyze diagnostic data from the probe, to try to learn the nature of the problem. They hope to put New Horizons back into normal operations within a day or two, ahead of the Jul. 14th flyby of Pluto. Link to news article on this matter:
Can't resist to play the devil's advocate here... NASA spotted something they don't want us to see, and invented this supposed "malfunction" as an excuse for not giving us those new images. Either that, or the aliens disabled the spacecraft to prevent us from discovering what we shouldn't know.
originally posted by: charlyv
One can imagine a broken up stream of comet hitting tail first. First the largest, then tapering down to individuals and then small debris. Wonder if it could be true.
Original from Sky & Telescope but I scaled it with gifedit.