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Plan to fix Opportunity rover flash memory issue given a go ahead

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NASA’ Opportunity rover is suffering from bouts of amnesia because of issues with its non-volatile flash memory and according to latest update, the plan to fix the issue has been reviewed by an independent panel and the project has been given the go ahead.

Memory issues first surfaced late last year when it was reported that one of the rover’s seven memory banks was having an issue because of which it isn’t able to store telemetry data overnight. Further a bigger issue at hand is that repeated, unsuccessful attempts to save data to the non-volatile flash memory are causing Opportunity to completely reboot.

This means that command sequences, which are sometimes sent in bunches from Earth, can also be forgotten, drastically slowing the team’s progress.

Earlier this month, Ashwin Vasavada, the new project scientist for Mars Rover Curiosity, revealed that the team was already having a workaround and was confident that they will be able to fix the issue permanently soon.

In the latest Opportunity rover update archives, one of the project managers have noted that the team is prepping to mask-off the troubled sector of the flash memory and resume using the remainder of the memory bank as normal.

“The plan to implement the masking was reviewed last week by an independent panel and the project was given the go ahead”, the latest update reads.