The NASA Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) is likely to be on a bit of a trip from its science mission and relay functions when engineers on Earth carry out routine maintenance. The routine maintenance work is predicted to past about two months. During that time, other orbiters will go on relaying data from the floor of Mars for the Curiosity rover and Mars Perception lander.
The routine maintenance work that NASA will undertake involves updating the battery parameters in the flash memory of the orbiter. In the total 15-yr background of the MRO, this kind of routine maintenance work has only been completed twice right before. NASA needs to use the update mainly because the space agency recently determined that the battery parameters in the flash memory or out of date, and if made use of, would be unable to demand the batteries on MRO to sought after degrees.
Together with updating the battery parameters, engineers will also use the downtime to update planetary position tables that also reside in the flash memory. As part of the routine maintenance, MRO will be put into a precautionary standby mode known as “safe mode” three periods around the training course of the update. The orbiter will also swap from its major laptop or computer named Facet-A laptop or computer to the redundant laptop or computer named Facet-B laptop or computer.
The MRO released in 2005 and has been on station orbiting the Crimson Earth since March 10, 2006. During its mission, the MRO has returned 371 terabits of data. NASA notes that spacecraft that stay in space for extended periods have to guard towards failures due to getting older components and the results of the harsh space ecosystem. The backup laptop or computer is one particular of the redundancies that NASA crafted into the MRO, and builds and other spacecraft, to support retain mission general performance in the celebration of an issue.
To maintain both of those computers on the MRO up-to-date, engineers will update the flash on the Facet-A laptop or computer initial and then command it to reboot to guarantee that the flash memory was appropriately updated. At the time the update has been confirmed, engineers will swap to Facet-B and repeat the approach. At the time the upgrades are completed, MRO will be returned to its science and relay-assist things to do. NASA suggests that after the update is applied, the spacecraft will be completely ready to go on functions effectively into the future 10 years.