Well the boffins have figured out why their billion dollar remote control toy on Mars stopped working. It ran out of memory. These days it’s not a problem most of us encounter. But those of us with a few years experience of computers remember the days when we had to make sure we deleted unwanted files, otherwise our steam-driven pre-pentium beige boxes would grind to a halt.
Same thing happened on Mars. The NASA scientists knew about memory management, but, read between the lines of this article, and you’d be forgiven for thinking that what stopped the Rover was too many drinks:
“But with all the excitement after the Mars landing on Jan. 3, and with data being returned to Earth by the rover, that step was not performed quickly enough by mission technicians. “
By which I think they mean ‘we all partied late, were a bit hungover, and someone forgot to clear out the memory’.