WASHINGTON (AFP)Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has been temporarily put into "safe mode," as scientists monitoring from Earth try to fix a computer glitch, the US space agency said. Scientists switched to a backup computer so that they could troubleshoot the problem, said to be linked to a glitch in the original computer's flash memory.

"We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations," said Richard Cook of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project, which built and operates Curiosity. A Nasa statement said scientists expect to shift the powered-down computer on Curiosity back to full operation in the coming days.