Print 12 comment(s) - last by GmTrix.. on Aug 14 at 7:47 AM

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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RE: Why not bring it all with you?
By Reclaimer77 on 8/13/2012 7:21:03 PM , Rating: 2
How about we stop second-guessing every move and decision these people make? Getting a BIT annoying. These guys pulled off the near impossible, I think they know what they are doing. Enough with the armchair quarterbacking.

By drycrust3 on 8/13/2012 11:27:11 PM , Rating: 2
I think the questions people have asked are fair enough, although they probably sound stupid to the NASA scientists. While everyone knows this is a great achievement, it is only when details emerge, such as the person's comment above which stated that the processors used arespecial radiation harden processors, that you start to appreciate the immense amount of thought and effort that went into making Curiosity.
The bit I liked was when, just after the landing, the scientists were going through the results, and one of them said the rocket unit had 0.14 kilograms (140 grams ... I guess that's about half a cup) of fuel left inside at fly away. From the reaction of the other scientists this seemed to be exactly what they had calculated, which, if correct, is another indication of the thought and effort that went into landing Curiosity.

RE: Why not bring it all with you?
By GmTrix on 8/14/2012 7:47:45 AM , Rating: 2
I'm not trying to criticize or be an "armchair quarterback". I'm just genuinely curious about why they are doing it this way. Sorry for asking questions or being interested in how all this technology works. I'll go back to being ignorant now. Bye.

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