1. Headline
  1. Headline
Image: Mars Odyssey
NASA
The Mars Odyssey spacecraft, shown here in an artist's conception, has been in orbit around the Red Planet since 2001.
updated 3/10/2009 6:56:16 PM ET 2009-03-10T22:56:16

NASA has successfully commanded the Mars Odyssey spacecraft to reboot its computer.

Mission manager Gaylon McSmith of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said the restart on Wednesday went without a hitch.

Scientists wanted to reboot the computer because they're worried that its memory may have been corrupted from years of exposure to space radiation. The spacecraft has been orbiting Mars since 2001.

McSmith says the procedure also restored the spacecraft's backup systems. Engineers hadn't been sure those would work because a power component had become inoperable.

The reboot was delayed a day after engineers noticed a temperature spike. An investigation revealed that a heater circuit was temporarily stuck in the "on" position. The heater was turned off in advance of the reboot.

The Odyssey orbiter can resume operations after several days. Its best-known instrument is the Thermal Emission Imaging System, or THEMIS for short. THEMIS and other instruments on the spacecraft have helped researchers identify huge reservoirs of water ice on the Red Planet.

This report was supplemented by msnbc.com.

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments

More on TODAY.com

  1. TODAY

    video Former Columbine student meets other school shooting survivors

    4/20/2014 1:59:51 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:59:51
  1. TODAY

    video Ouch! Baseball player hit in face by 90-mph fastball

    4/20/2014 1:22:19 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:22:19
  1. Nick Lisi / AP

    Miss America defends student suspended for asking her to prom

    4/20/2014 5:57:24 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T17:57:24
  1. Pool / Reuters

    Prince George meets George the marsupial on zoo trip

    4/20/2014 3:44:05 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T15:44:05
  1. TODAY

    video Death toll rises as divers enter sunken South Korean ferry

    4/20/2014 1:23:09 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:23:09
Boston Marathon
  1. Police securing Boston

    video Law enforcement officials are working around the clock to make sure the Boston Marathon is safe.

    4/20/2014 1:24:33 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:24:33
  2. Boston counts down to marathon 

    video After getting through a long, painful year, many Boston Marathon bombing survivors look forward to finishing what they started.

    4/20/2014 1:23:53 PM +00:00 2014-04-20T13:23:53