Scientists probing erratic behavior by Mars rover

January 29, 2009 8:02:39 AM PST
Scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., are trying to figure out why the Mars rover Spirit is acting erratically. The laboratory said in a release Wednesday that Spirit failed to notify controllers on Earth of its orientation after driving this weekend.

The six-wheel robotic geologist also did not record its activities to its memory.

Scientists are running diagnostic tests this week to figure out the problem. The lab says it could be caused by cosmic rays hitting Spirit's electronics.

Spirit and its twin Opportunity have long surpassed scientists' expectations after landing on Mars in 2004. They had hoped to operate each of the solar-powered rovers for at least three months.

CLICK HERE to follow Action News on Twitter

CLICK HERE to get Action News on your website

CLICK HERE to find Action News on Facebook

Click here to get the latest Philadelphia news and headlines from across the Delaware and Lehigh valleys.