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Photos from Curiosity on Mars  (Source: NASA)
Curiosity will endure a four-day R10 software upgrade, which will allow it to drive through Martian terrain and use its instruments to check its surroundings

NASA Mars rover Curiosity is receiving a four-day software upgrade before it starts its two-year expedition across Martian terrain. 
 
Curiosity is a $2.5 billion one-ton, six-wheeled, car-sized Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) that landed on the Red Planet last week after launching from Cape Canaveral, Florida on November 26, 2011. The Mars rover traveled through space for just over eight months before finally touching down on the planet's surface. 
 
Now that Curiosity has finally landed, its time to upgrade the software for the next phase of its journey. Curiosity was previously programmed for the flight/landing phase of the mission, but now, its time to move on to the exploration stage.
 
Curiosity will endure a four-day R10 software upgrade, which will allow it to drive through Martian terrain and use its instruments to check its surroundings. The Mars rover packs a single-board RAD 750 system with PowerPC 750 clocked at 200 MHz. It also has 256 MB of DRAM and 2 GB of flash storage. 
 
Why is it taking four days for the update? According to NASA engineers, they just want to be thorough and make sure nothing goes wrong
 
The first day will be a "soft install" of the R10 software, while the second day will be a full installation and the third day will be a full installation to Curiosity's backup computer. The fourth day will likely be testing and prep. 
 
After the software upgrades and testing, Curiosity will use tools like a large robot arm, weather station, percussive drill, a laser and 4.8kg of plutonium-238 to explore the Red Planet. 

Source: PC Mag





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