Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Signal From Mars Is Restored

A satellite radio that carries signals and commands to the Mars Phoenix lander restarted last night, ending a one-day delay in the robotic explorer’s deployment on the Martian surface.

The UHF radio on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite shut down on Tuesday, blocking communications between mission controllers and the newly arrived spacecraft.The balky orbiter “successfully received information from the Phoenix lander and relayed the information to Earth. The relayed transmission included images and other data collected by Phoenix during the mission’s second day after landing on Mars.”

The cause of the glitch is undetermined, according to the NASA statement. During the radio silence, the lander carried out instructions that had been sent on Monday.

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