NASA: With Martian ice discovered, major tests beginning

Programmers also building patch to fix software bug that caused loss of some photos

The Lander already has sent back initial images from the microscope of an earlier soil sample. Arvidson said it's difficult to interpret the images without considering them along with data from the other analyzers.

These successes come after a software glitch earlier this week that caused data to be lost.

Arvidson said the Lander lost some pictures but they can be reacquired once the software bug is fixed. He explained that the Lander has a flash drive that stores 116 megabits of data and then sends that information back to NASA. He noted that the problem doesn't lie with the hardware. Rather it's an issue of competing priorities trying to write to the flash at the same time.

Programmers are working on a patch for the problem now.

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