New Horizons spacecraft is back in service after a computer crash, NASA said in a statement. The glitch that first occurred on July 4th threatened the probe’s historic flyby of Pluto on July 14th. On Saturday, New Horizons unexpectedly stopped radio communications with Earth for a whopping 81 minutes, which NASA described as an “anomaly.”
New Horizons had placed itself in ‘safe mode’
Now it has overcome the glitch, and is on track for a close encounter with the dwarf planet next week. The spacecraft is currently about 3 billion miles away from Earth. Lead researcher Alan Stern of the Southwest Research Institute said that New Horizons as well as all of its instruments are now “operating flawlessly.” New Horizons project manager Glen Fountain said the spacecraft had placed itself in “safe mode” after experiencing a data collection problem. It caused a temporary loss of communication with Earth.