Opportunity rover memory format

    Opportunity - if not a record holder for extraterrestrial mileage (as far as one can judge, the Soviet Lunokhod holds the lead in this matter, although NASA thinks differently), then it’s certainly the record holder for staying on another planet of the solar system with preservation of performance.

    As you know, initially the systems were designed to work for 90 days, and more than 10 years have passed since the landing of Opportunity on Mars. Mars rover systems wear out, and this is especially noticeable in relation to the rover flash memory.

    The fact is that over the past month, the rover gives one failure after another, and it takes a day or two to restore each of these failures. Therefore, the device does nothing for a whole day or two. When such a malfunction occurs, the rover computer system reboots, and NASA specialists have to spend a lot of time solving all these problems. Over the past month, Opportunity has rebooted 12 times already, so it’s easy to calculate how long the device worked and how much it was idle.

    According to representatives of NASA, problems arise due to an attempt to write data to non-working cells in the flash memory of the device. Reformatting the memory, in this case, with a high degree of probability is a successful procedure that will allow you to mark damaged memory sections so that the computer system of the rover does not try to write anything to such cells.

    For all ten years, Opportunity memory will be formatted for the first time, and from a distance of more than 200 million kilometers. However, a similar procedure was already carried out with the Opportuntity twin, the rover Spirit, in 2009, just five years after the marsing.

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    As for Opportunity, the procedure for reformatting the memory will be carried out next month. Currently, the rover is heading for the Marathon Valley of Mars, where there are many clay minerals (the latter can “tell” about the geological history of the planet, scientists hope to get even more information about the presence of liquid water on the surface of the Red Planet in the past).

    Via nasa

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