The research team operating the robot has switched it over to a secondary back-up computer - known as the B-side - and placed it in minimal-activity mode while work is done on repairing the damage.
“We switched computers to get to a standard state from which to begin restoring routine operations,” said Richard Cook from NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and project manager for the Mars Science Laboratory Project.
The team hopes the Rover will be able to resume its scientific activities over the coming days, with plans to phase the robot back into operational status gradually over the space of a few days.
Space devices often carry multiple non-functioning computers in order to provide back-up in case of damage to one of the computers.
“While we are resuming operations on the B-side, we are also working to determine the best way to restore the A-side as a viable backup,” Magdy Bareh, leader of the mission’s anomaly resolution team, said.
“We also want to look to see if we can make changes to software to immunize against this kind of problem in the future,” Cook told Space.com.
It is as yet unclear what caused the corrupt files, but Cook notes they may have been caused by radiation from cosmic rays.
“The hardware that we fly is radiation-tolerant, but there's a limit to how hardened it can be,” Cook told Space.com, adding: “You can still get high-energy particles that can cause the memory to be corrupted. It certainly is a possibility and that's what we're looking into.”
The Curiosity robot was launched in November 2011, and landed on Mars in August 2012 with the mission of examining the planet for signs of whether it was ever inhabitable by microbial life.