Solar Blast Races Toward Mars

LOS ANGELES (March 6, 2013)—NASA’s Curiosity rover was hunkering down after the sun unleashed a blast headed for Mars, project managers said Wednesday.

They powered down the car-size rover as a precaution because it developed a recent computer problem.

The Opportunity rover and two orbiting NASA spacecraft will carry on with normal activities.

On Tuesday, scientists noticed a flare erupting from the sun that sent a stream of radiation and a cloud of superheated gas toward Mars.

The solar eruption was not expected to have an impact on Earth.

Curiosity is recovering from a memory problem last week.

Engineers were troubleshooting the cause when they decided to put the rover in sleep mode, which means it'll take even longer for Curiosity to return to its science experiments.

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