Share this story
Close X
Switch to Desktop Site

Scientists Veto Reboot Plan For Mars Probe

SCIENTISTS still want to talk with the missing Mars Observer spacecraft, but they think that trying to restart its central computer is too risky.

A proposal to restart or ``reboot'' the computer was rejected on Aug. 30 by project scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

About these ads

In a written statement, JPL said restarting the Mars Observer computer would pose an unnecessary risk to telecommunications with other spacecraft.

NASA, which last heard from the craft Aug. 21, continued to send messages in hopes of salvaging the $980 million mission.

Had the reboot command been given, the Mars Observer spacecraft would have been expected to communicate with JPL after a 65-hour waiting period.

Some outside analysts have speculated that the Mars spacecraft has exploded.

But NASA has maintained that the craft was silenced by the failure of transistors in a central clock, and that the probe probably started orbiting Mars as planned.

Mars Observer was launched Sept. 25 on a 450-million-mile journey. It was to be the first new United States exploration of Mars since the twin Viking orbiters and their landers reached the planet 17 years ago. L.A. policemen denied bail

A federal appeals court refused to allow the two white policemen convicted of violating black motorist Rodney King's civil rights to remain free on bail during their appeal.

About these ads

In an order released on Aug. 30, the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ordered Stacey Koon, a sergeant, and Laurence Powell, an officer, to begin their prison terms on Sept. 27, saying they ``failed to show that their circumstances ... are sufficiently exceptional to warrant release on bail.''

The order, signed by Judges Harry Pregerson and Pamela Rymer, said the officers were each convicted of a crime of violence. People convicted of violent crimes normally are ineligible for bail during appeals.

Mr. Koon and Mr. Powell were sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison after a federal jury in California convicted them in the March 1991 beating of Mr. King.

The beating was videotaped by an amateur cameraman and shown repeatedly nationwide.

The officers' acquittals in state court in 1992 sparked riots in Los Angeles that killed 54 people and injured many more.

Follow Stories Like This
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.