Curiosity and Perseverance have 2 redundant computers, during surface operations, only one is active at a time, while the other one is there as a spare.

Now I'm wondering if during landing they started the EDL software on both computers in case one of them fails, so the other one can jump in and do the landing.



1 Answer 1


This isn't really a conclusive quote, but I believe the answer is no. Lakdawalla, The Design and Engineering of Curiosity, citing Devereaux 2013:

"...They made the decision to redesign the avionics again so that only one of the two computer systems would run at any given time." "Now the backup computer wouldn't be monitoring the prime computer, so couldn't take over immediately if the prime computer failed," Manning recalls.

In the section on EDL, it is mentioned that the fault protection circuitry was disabled during the landing.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ thanks! disabling the fault protection makes sense, I believe they did that during the Pluto encounter for new horizons as well. $\endgroup$
    – RAD6000
    Commented Nov 14, 2021 at 12:38

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