As if Mars wasn't a hostile enough environment already, now it's come to light that computer glitch-causing radioactive energy might be flying around. That's one theory as to why NASA was forced to put the Curiosity Rover into safe mode this week, at least.

When Curiosity's A-side computer experienced a memory issue and failed to send some data back to Earth on Feb. 27, NASA switched on the B-side computer and set to troubleshooting. Thank goodness they had a backup, right?

In an interview with NASA's Curiosity Project Manager, Richard Cook said that it could take as long as a week to get everything working again. He said the memory glitch could have been caused by a radioactive "high-energy particle," and that they're looking into it.

Here's hoping the little fella recovers swiftly. You never know what could be up there with it.


Don't flip out: I just flipped over to my B-side computer while the team looks into an A-side memory issue [Twitter via Ars Technica]