NASA Fixes Spacecraft By Turning It Off And On Again

  • NASA engineers have managed to restore the Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft to working condition by using the oldest trick in the computing book.
  • IBEX was put into contingency mode in February after NASA reset its onboard systems and the almost 15-year-old spacecraft’s flight computer subsequently failed to respond to commands uploaded from mission control. Engineers have since performed a so-called “firecode reset” as the craft’s orbit reached its closest point to Earth.
  • “To take the spacecraft out of a contingency mode, the mission team performed a firecode reset (which is an external reset of the spacecraft) instead of waiting for the spacecraft to perform an autonomous reset and power cycle on March 4,” NASA confirmed on Monday.
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