The rover Curiosity , the most sophisticated and great man has ever sent to space exploration, has spent his first weekend on Mars subjected to “surgery”. The vehicle NASA has suffered a“brain transplant” , an operation that ended on Monday and lasted three days, to install a new version of software on their computers.This change will allow the Curiosity perform the tasks that lie ahead, such as driving and using his powerful robotic arm.
This software operating on the surface of Mars was uploaded to the memory of the phone during the flight of the Mars Science Laboratory, which carried the Curiosity, from Earth. “We designed the mission so that we can update the software when needed during its different phases,” explains Ben Cichy, software engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. The point is that the rover will not fly again, so the software version that had until now not needed anymore. Now, the rover has to “think” otherwise, prepare to take roll and perform the work for which has been sent.
A key feature in the new version is the image processing to check for obstacles . Curiosity This allows more capacity to identify and avoid potential hazards, so you can follow a safer path for himself. Its new capabilities also facilitate the use of the tools at the end of its robotic arm.
Mount Sharp, in detail
While Curiosity increases its capabilities, the team continues to charge analyzing the rover sends images from around the crater Gale.Researchers are discussing which features of the images to investigate first. The last show Mount Sharp in more detail.
Curiosity that arrived at Mars on August 6 for a mission of at least two years, carries ten scientific instruments with a total mass fifteen times higher than that carried by the rovers predecessors , Spirit and Opportunity . Some tools, like a laser instrument to determine the elemental composition of rocks from a distance, are the first of its kind on Mars. The Curiosity use a drill and shovel found at the end of its robotic arm to collect samples of soil and dust from the interior of rocks, and then sift the urine sample from laboratory instruments bearing for analysis.
To handle this scientific tool, Curiosity is twice as long and five times heavier than Spirit and Opportunity. The place of Gale crater where it landed the vehicle located near the Mount Sharp , an interesting place because it seems to analysis of clay minerals and sulfate, indicating a wet past.