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Mars Rover Curiosity is switching brains so it can fix itself

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posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 08:11 PM
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Curiosity landed on Mars with two central computing systems, Side-A and Side-B (not left brain and right brain — that would invite too much silliness). They’re perfect duplicates of each other, or were — it was something of a bumpy ride, after all, and cosmic radiation may flip a bit here and there. The team was thankful to have made these preparations when, on sol 200 in February of 2013 (we’re almost to sol 2,200 now), the Side-A computer experienced a glitch that ended up taking the whole rover offline. The solution was to swap over to Side-B, which was up and running shortly afterwards and sending diagnostic data for its twin.


The data is coming down very slow though. That is why it is taking so long to get it patched up. It is just a matter of time. Lets hope the back-up computer lasts as long or longer than the first one.



No timeline just yet for how that will happen, but the team is confident that they’ll have things back on track soon. The mission isn’t in jeopardy — but this is a good example of how a good system of redundancies can add years to the life of space hardware.


Mars Rover Curiosity is switching brains so it can fix itself





edit on 4-10-2018 by LookingAtMars because: link,fix




posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 08:17 PM
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It is called redundancy.
Fault tolerance.
Good thing that was built in. Little to no down-time
Now , if we could get more Internet Service Providers to implement the same...



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 08:17 PM
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Who would of thought we would have such a long lived tool of exploration. Perhaps it will provide years more of exploration capabilities. And one day when it comes to a full rest, be a Monument to Space Travel.



posted on Oct, 4 2018 @ 10:37 PM
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a reply to: Plotus

Reminds of of low tech durability.

Sometimes machines can continually be upgraded via hardware and at a point, enough is enough,, with an opportunity to reprogram etc. But a launch date, cuts many years of planning and 'just do it' and the cause is continual continual increases in tech, vs. hardware and software always able to change will just cause it not to happen at all.

So the reminder to me, is my grandfather's rotary phone, leased, yes leased from the late 1960's, (drove us crazy as grand kids and kids)...and I reinforce rotary...worked though every hurricane and flood, even as recent as Harvey in Houston, tx.

Cells went down, internet was spastic, cable lost etc.

The dang rotary phone was a lifeline in the neighborhood.

Mg



posted on Oct, 5 2018 @ 05:41 AM
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originally posted by: Gothmog
It is called redundancy.
Fault tolerance.

Exactly, and that's one thing most people ignore when they complain about "low quality photos" and the lack of videos.



posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 11:56 AM
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It turns out the rover is already using the back up computer or side B. It switched over around Sol 200. The SOL 200 problem was diagnosed and patched up since then. The rover has now switched back to side A and will try and fix side B. Side A now has less memory then side B, so they want to be able to switch back to side B if they can.



posted on Oct, 7 2018 @ 04:21 PM
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Man, I sure do hope that one day, when we land on Mars and everything is set and done, we should upgrade those little robots and install AI on them.

That way, they can have their "birth" on the lonely red planet, wandering aimlessly until one day, it "thinks"...




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