MRO has switched to standby

MRO has switched to standby

Artistic vision of the Martian reconnaissance apparatus (MRO)

Since February 15, NASA MRO is in standby mode. This is a response to fixing an unexpectedly low battery voltage.

The device operates on solar energy, but is also fed from a pair of nickel-hydrogen batteries during periods of stay in the shadow part of the Red Planet. Together, they maintain an almost identical charge during standard operations.

The MRO communicates with the Earth and maintains safe, stable temperature and power conditions. However, it was necessary to suspend the work of scientific instruments and the broadcast service for rovers. It was possible to restore the normal voltage and now the device is being closely monitored until they eliminate the cause of the malfunction. Scientists are diagnosing to better understand the behavior of batteries and find improved ways to manage them in the future. As soon as the engineers are convinced of the safety of the mechanism, they will reconnect with the rovers.

The MRO entered the Martian orbit on March 10, 2006. Since then, he has managed to return more than 317 terabits of data to the earth receiving point.

The mission was able to complete all planned operations in the first 2 years of operation. Duration allowed researchers to study seasonal changes on Mars. In addition, the device records possible landing sites for future missions and acts as a link between the Earth and two active rovers on the surface.

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