Nasa has been busy upgrading the operating system of its rover to help it navigate and examine the red planet
Nasa's Mars rover Curiosity has been getting a much-needed operating system upgrade that will allow it to drive around the planet and use its robotic arm.
The upgrade took place between the 10 and 13 of August, with a new version of the operating system being beamed to the distant explorer.
"We designed the mission from the start to be able to upgrade the software as needed for different phases of the mission," said Ben Cichy of Nasa's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
Mr Cichy explained that the rover was originally equipped with an operating system designed to get it to Mars and that it now needed an upgrade to help it explore the planet. The new operating system will help it move, check for obstacles and use its various tools, including its robotic arm.
The operating system upgrade was uploaded to the rover's memory during its journey from Earth to Mars, ready for installation once it reached the planet.
The Curiosity is powered by a special processor which runs at 200MHz and also has 2GB of flash memory. It also has 256MB of DRAM. While this makes it significantly slower than an iPad, it should be noted that Curiosity is a one-ton, nuclear powered buggy currently some 352 million miles from Earth. An iPad just runs apps.
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