NASA has revealed that its Mars Curiosity rover has experienced a transient short circuit and has a result the rover has halted all work temporarily while its engineers analyse the situation.
“We are running tests on the vehicle in its present configuration before we move the arm or drive,” said Curiosity Project Manager Jim Erickson, of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. “This gives us the best opportunity to determine where the short is.”
NASA reveled that from the telemetry data it received from Curiosity indicated a transient short circuit following which vehicle followed its programmed response, stopping the arm activity underway at the time of the irregularity in the electric current.
NASA has parked Curiosity as its engineers analyse the issues and figure out if any damage has been done. NASA did say that transient short circuit would have little effect on rover’s operations in some systems, but it could force the team to restrict use of rover’s mechanism.
The US space agency revealed that Curiosity was conducting an early step in the transfer of rock powder collected by the drill on the arm to laboratory instruments inside the rover when the fault occurred.
The rock powder was descending from collection grooves in the bit assembly into a chamber in the mechanism that sieves and portions the sample powder, NASA added.