After a brief suspension caused by a Technical problemThe Curiosity rover is back to collecting data on a region of Mars rich in clay, according to a NASA statement released today (February 28).
The problem occurred during a routine start on Feb. 15, according to the agency's announcement of the problem Feb. 22. Between the problem and this disclosure, Curiosity had 30 other trouble-free start-up procedures, but the team was still not quite sure what went wrong. The robot engineers suspended the scientific work of the rover to avoid overwriting the information regarding the problem.
"Curiosity has returned to scientific operations and is once again exploring the unity of clay", the declaration reads. "The Mission's engineering team continues to study the computer reset experienced by the mobile on February 15. No other problems have arisen since."
The statement suggests that the rover engineers have not fully identified what happened, but have the necessary information for the scientific work to resume.
And the rover's science team is eager to leave because Curiosity has just driven to a new area on Mars which features intriguing rock rich in clay. The neighborhood is called Glen Torridon and is a little south of Curiosity's last home, Vera Rubin Ridge, more prone to cliff.
Glen Torridon is a particularly intriguing area because clay minerals can only be formed in wet weather – and it is likely that all life on Mars would also depend on water.