Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mars rover: Wind sensor damaged on Nasa's Curiosity

Nasa has reported its first setback in the Curiosity rover mission to Mars.

A sensor on the robot's weather station that takes wind readings has sustained damage.

The mission team stresses this is not a major problem and will merely degrade some measurements - not prevent them.

It is not certain how the damage occurred but engineers suspect surface stones thrown up during Curiosity's rocket-powered landing may have struck sensor circuits and broken the wiring.

Nasa is describing the news as an isolated "disappointment" in what has otherwise been a spectacular start to the mission.

Javier Gomez-Elvira, the principal investigator on the broken instrumentation - the Rover Environmental Monitoring Station (Rems) - said he was hopeful of finding a good way to get past the issue.

"We are working to recover as much functionality as possible," he told reporters. Read More