We are now returning to our normal mode of operations after several long months of being in safe mode. The anomaly on August 26th was the last in a series of computer glitches on board the MRO spacecraft that caused a reboot. The engineering teams have been working incredibly hard to get the anomaly figured out and prevent a possible side-effect from causing really serious problems. While they may not understand the original problem, and there is a chance it may happen again, they’re confident that at least it will not threaten the mission, so they’ve given us the go-ahead to resume normal operations.
Safe mode is a way of running the spacecraft where all of the science instruments are turned off and quiet. We still receive engineering telemetry so we can monitor temperatures and voltages. There are also “survival” heaters that prevent HiRISE from getting too cold in this mode.
During this time, the uplink operations staff has gotten a little restless. (more…)