I'm having a bit of a problem here converting watt-hours to jigawatts - somehow the units don't seem to balance out...
NASA says it's close to a fix for the flash memory problems plaguing the plucky Opportunity rover, which is now nearing its eleventh year of Martian trundling. The problems surfaced last year and created a form of amnesia that NASA boffins decided was caused by one of seven memory banks aboard the rover. The good news is that …
Nice! I thought something similar and had a Google moment. Turns out that it isn't the flight software as it was replaced. From that font of all knowledge, Wikipedia:
Activities such as taking pictures, driving, and operating the instruments are performed in a command sequence that is sent from the flight team to the rover. The rover installed its full surface operations software after the landing because its computers did not have room for it during flight. The new software essentially replaced the flight software.
My hats off to all engineers involved. First of designing something that can last that much longer than intended in the first place and then actually keeping it going from millions of miles away. I think Opportunity is a fine example of what NASA is actually capable off if given half a chance.
It's the high price of progress. The Model T Ford works perfectly as motorised transport, but nobody seriously drives one because new, better cars exist.
Why have a phone that you have to wind up, then barely hear the operator when you ask them to connect the once-a-month phonecall you make because of how much it costs, when you can have a smartphone that is basically a pocket computer with free phonecalls.
I wonder how many of their bollocks they would give to be able to add 2 or 3 x 1TB SSDs right now. :-)
I know there are computers that were built in 2003 that are still running now but they have had an "update" or two but they are considered older than dinosaurs IT wise. Opportunity wasn't built in 2003 but launched then. What was the current IT hardware available when they designed and then built the darn thing. That thing amazes the crap out of me. Plus, anyone remember the HP inkjet advert when Opportunity landed?
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