The glitch-struck Spirit Mars Exploration Rover is on the mend as computer experts consider delicate electronic surgery on the robot’s software smarts. The hope is fixing the rover and returning it to science-gathering tasks at Gusev Crater by early next week.
There remain nagging worries, however, that what ails Spirit can’t be fully understood. If that’s the case, engineers here at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) are taking slow steps in certifying that Spirit’s twin – Opportunity that now rests halfway around Mars -- won’t run into the same problems.
Some tele-surgery is planned to deal with some memory issues at the heart of the problem.