NASA to Reboot Mars Orbiter
Orbiter's systems vulnerable to space radiation exposure
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 5, 2009 1:59 PM CST
A Boeing Delta II rocket with the Mars Odyssey satellite lifts off April 7, 2001, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – The Odyssey, NASA’s Mars orbiter, must reboot its computer systems, a risky move necessary to ensure continued functionality, Space.com reports. The reboot, slated for next week, should clear out the damaging effects of continued exposure to space radiation on the Odyssey’s memory system. The orbiter’s last reboot was in 2003. As a bonus, the operation will test the Odyssey’s backup systems.

The Odyssey contains a full set of backup components, called its “B-side,” but the B-side power supply broke in 2007, rendering the entire backup system useless. NASA thinks a cold reboot should revive the power supply. Odyssey has been orbiting Mars since 2001.