Mars Rover Curiosity Gets A Software Update

The Curiosity Rover has spent the weekend on Mars having its software updated, or what NASA more elegantly describes as a "brain transplant."

To help with the next part of the mission, Curiosity has been transitioned to software better suited to the tasks ahead.  The software that aided in the landing of the rover has been switched to programs with much improved control of the driving and use of its robotic arm.  The update began on the 10th and is due to be complete by the 13th.

Another important tweak is improved image processing capabilities.  This will give us a clearer picture of its surroundings, and give the navigators a better view to drive from.  As NASA's Ben Cichy better puts it:

The flight software version Curiosity currently is using was really focused on landing the vehicle. It includes many capabilities we just don't need any more. It gives us basic capabilities for operating the rover on the surface, but we have planned all along to switch over after landing to a version of flight software that is really optimized for surface operations.

In the meantime, images captured by Curiosity are being analysed to figure out the best place to start exploring Mars.  Rather excited to see what they find.

Source: NASA

Jason England