The newest rover to work on Mars, Curiosity, won't get back to drilling in its search for water or chemicals that might have enabled Mars to support life, until the solar conjunction is over.
Curiosity has had two computer glitches in the past month. However, Zurek said Curiosity can function normally now and NASA's computer specialists will use the quiet time to try to figure out what caused trouble for the rover's A-side computer and how to keep it from recurring.
He also noted that if there is another computer problem during the solar conjunction, the spacecraft are all configured to automatically put themselves in safe mode and wait until engineers can fix the problem.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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