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Orbiter Resumes Science Observations

September 22, 2010

Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission Status Report

NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter resumed observing Mars with its science instruments on Sept. 18, recovering from an unplanned reboot of its computer three days earlier.

The reboot put the orbiter into a precautionary standby called “safe mode” on Sept. 15. The event appears to have been similar to one the orbiter last experienced on Aug. 26, 2009. For 10 months prior to this latest reboot, the spacecraft operated normally, making science observations and returning data.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, at Mars since 2006, has met the mission’s science goals and returned more data than all other Mars missions combined. It completed its primary science phase of operations in November 2008, but continues to observe Mars both for science and for support of future missions that will land on Mars.

The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter mission is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. Caltech manages JPL for NASA.

Image Caption: Artist concept of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. Image credit: NASA/JPL

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