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back to article BAFFLING power cockup halts NASA's nuclear Mars tank Curiosity

NASA has halted its rover Curiosity on Mars for a few days while engineers on Earth attempt to figure out what caused an electrical fault in the robot. Curiosity self-portrait at Rocknest in the Gale Crater Space selfie ... Curiosity in the Gale Crater on Mars (Credit: NASA) The space agency was quick to reassure everyone …

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FAIL

Houston we've got a "Kiss me Quick Hat".

From your photo, looks like its having a paddle on Blackpool Sands

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Devil

Martian kids...

"Dare you to go over and stick this paperclip across its terminals while it's looking at that rock!"

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This might be me..

But I've learned from experience - if its still functioning, don't try and fix it. Even a floating bus has a lower voltage limit and fiddling about might be just enough to push it into a hard short & kill the thing off completely - which would be sad.. because once its dead its dead.

Reminds me of my old Humber Sceptre - it might have been more rust than bodywork and more filler than either - and have an interior mostly built of vynide & cardboard but it was indestructible - even Volvo estates treated it with respect; crumple zones and pedestrian safety were for other people. Had world war three happened the radioactivity would have probably improved its fuel consumption and cold starting.

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Re: This might be me..

"But I've learned from experience - if its still functioning, don't try and fix it."

But, *do* diagnose it. If movement of the arm, for example, in one direction or specific position is causing the issue, then they can avoid that particular movement.

"Reminds me of my old Humber Sceptre - it might have been more rust than bodywork and more filler than either - and have an interior mostly built of vynide & cardboard but it was indestructible"

Sounds like my old first car, a 1967 Chevelle. The floorboards were quite literally 2x6 boards laid over the rusted through floor.

Was a great little runabout. It'd run about a block, then you'd push it.

Later, I got a 1969 Runsony. Runs only down hill.

It was literally well over a decade before I had a car that didn't have a wire coat hanger holding up the exhaust system. The damned things outlasted the regular exhaust system hanging gear!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: This might be me..

I face the same problem more or less daily on underwater robots. It IS a problem that needs to be fixed (for us it leads to, amongst other things, vastly increased rates of corrosion, for them a charged outer surface could attract dust or straight up stop sensors from working) but it is not a massive rush.

It is also a nightmare to track them down as the fault could be more or less anywhere and they'll have a short-detection resolution of however many sections of the vehicle they can totally isolate (not just turn power on/off but take away the ground connection too). Good luck to NASA!

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Somebody's used it to jumpstart their dune buggy

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Martian kid used it to launch their model rocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Martian with a screw driver perhaps, or just one of the engineers forgot to secure a power terminal properly....

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Go

Call AAA...

But, you need to be with the vehicle and in possession of your valid AAA card when the service truck arrives.

(AAA = US auto club)

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Re: Call AAA...

They'll need to quickly set up the AAM then, so they can call it for a tow. The Automobile Association of *America* might consider this outside their callout zone.

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Anonymous Coward

Think about it

Did anyone else notice the interesting pictures we were getting just before this happened?

Now we seem to be somewhere else.

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Anonymous Coward

I bet ..

.. its warranty expired yesterday.

I for one would be VERY sad to see it develop a fault. It's been doing amazingly well - very impressive.

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Alien

A selfie???

I don't see the boom going back to the rover from the camera.. Ok.. who really took the picture?

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Re: A selfie???

NASA described long ago how the selfie is taken. It's a collection of shots stitched together.

http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/msl/multimedia/pia16764.html

Pretty cool!

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G_R

Maybe just switch it off and on again....

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Facepalm

Loose Paperclip causes power drain

You seem to be exploring an extraterrestrial body. Would you like some help with that?

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Anonymous Coward

It's not powered by Microsoft's Azure Cloud is it?

If so, I think we have RCA right there.

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