posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 09:03 PM
NASA has announced on Tuesday that it has suspended the use of one of the mineral-identifying tools on the Opportunity Mars rover because of a
problem. The problem could be related to a malfunctioning optical switch that tells a mirror in the instrument when to begin moving. Another possible
problem could be that the mirror might not be properly moving at a constant velocity. Despite this news, NASA states that the other instruments on
Opportunity are fine.
NASA said Tuesday it has suspended use of one of the mineral-identifying tools on the Opportunity Mars rover due to a problem.
The robots thermal emission spectrometer was acting up, and engineers are obtaining data from it while troubleshooting.
The problem might be related to a malfunctioning optical switch that tells a mirror in the instrument when to begin moving. Or the mirror might not be
properly moving at a constant velocity.
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The twin Mars rover mission has been my favorite space mission since I have been alive. I am very happy to see that these two rovers lasted much
longer than expected. The information we have gained from these twin rovers is great and it will help humanity better understand Mars.
This instrument glitch is not a serious problem. NASA stated that if the glitch cannot be fixed, scientist could still get useful data from the
instrument. This is great news!
Opportunity is continuing to operate and is now observing a crater called Vostok.