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The Mars rover Curiosity has temporarily ceased work as engineers investigate what appears to be a short circuit in its electrical system.
The space agency said Tuesday that the electrical problem was discovered over the weekend as Curiosity tried to transfer bits of powder from a rock that it had drilled into. The short circuit stopped the rover’s robotic arm. Engineers are diagnosing the issue, and the testing is expected to take several days.
The worrisome components of this story are the words “short circuit” and “drill”, because of a known design flaw in the electrical system of the rover’s drill. It could very well be that this flaw, which could cause a short that could bring down the rover, is the cause of this electrical problem.