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Because of an increasing number of computer resets on the Mars rover Opportunity, engineers plan to reformat the rover’s computer.
The resets, including a dozen this month, interfere with the rover’s planned science activities, even though recovery from each incident is completed within a day or two.
Flash memory retains data even when power is off. It is the type used for storing photos and songs on smart phones or digital cameras, among many other uses. Individual cells within a flash memory sector can wear out from repeated use. Reformatting clears the memory while identifying bad cells and flagging them to be avoided.
Obviously there is a risk, though small, that this action will not work and the mission will end here. Stay tuned.