Hey Space Placers!
UPDATE: Dragon is cleared for approach and grapple with ISS for 0601 EST, 3-3-13. Read More About It: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/structure/launch/index.html
On the Red Planet and in low Earth orbit (LEO) two vehicles - Space X's Falcon resupply ship to the International Space Station (ISS) and NASA's nuclear powered lab-rover Curiosity suffered technical glitches.
On Mars for reasons currently unknown, Curiosity had to switch to its' backup computer on February 28th due to memory problems with the main computer that were discovered the day before. Curiosity has a two computer redundancy for situations just like this. When the computer switch over occurred the rover went into safe mode and suspended operations. Mission controllers expect to get Curiosity back into operational mode in the next several days. The lab-rover can operate using the B side computer.
Curiosity in the past few days had completed loading fine rock powder from its historic drilling into Mars' surface into the lab analyzer for testing. This work will have to be rescheduled following the assessment and fix to the computer. Read More About It: https://twitter.com/marscuriosity and http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/news/whatsnew/index.cfm?FuseAction=ShowNews&NewsID=1431.
SpaceX launched its' Falcon resupply ship to the International Space Station (ISS) aboard its' Dragon 9 rocket on March 1st without a hitch and made it to LEO only to discover a problem with the thruster system aboard the Falcon capsule carrying over 1,500 pounds of supplies to the ISS. Only 1 of the 4 thruster clusters was initializing and flight rules require at least two before approach can be made to the ISS.
Troubleshooting eventually cleared the problem and all four thruster clusters became operational and the solar panels deployed. SpaceX will continue to check out the spacecraft by performing orbital maneuvers and once it is determined that Dragon is A-OK, will work with NASA to schedule rendezvous with the ISS.
See the launch here
and get updates here: http://www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/station/living/launch/crs_rss_feed_collection_archive_1.html
Sky Guy in VA