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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Problems on Mars orbiter under review

February 10, 2007|From Times Wire Reports

NASA is investigating problems with two instruments aboard the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter, the agency announced this week.

In November, scientists operating the probe's high-resolution camera noticed an increase in image "noise," such as bad pixels.

A problem also developed in an instrument that maps temperature, ice clouds and dust in the atmosphere. Scientists discovered the instrument had a skewed field of view. The errors became more frequent last month, and engineers have decided to temporarily halt work with the instrument.

The spacecraft arrived at the Red Planet last year. Its other four instruments are operating normally.

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