A navigation glitch on NASA’s Mars orbiter MAVEN has stalled its science work

A navigation system glitch that struck NASA’s MAVEN orbiter at Mars earlier this year has hobbled the spacecraft’s ability to conduct science and study the Red Planet’s atmosphere.

The MAVEN spacecraft, which has orbited Mars since 2014, went into a protective “safe mode” on Feb. 22 when its vital inertial measurement units “began exhibiting anomalous behavior,” NASA officials wrote in a May 18 update. While in safe mode, a spacecraft shuts down all science and awaits instructions from its flight controllers on how to recover.