Mars Probe using Windows 98 gets a software update in space #Space #Mars @TomsHardware
The European Space Agency’s Mars Express probe, currently in orbit around Mars, recently had a major software update to increase its chances of discovering water.
Launched in 2003, the Mars Express, and its MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) water probe, ran one of the major operating systems of the time. Windows 98.
The new code for the probe “includes a series of upgrades that improve signal reception and on-board data processing to increase the amount and quality of science data sent to Earth.”
There are many regions near the south pole on Mars in which we may have already seen signals indicating liquid water in lower-resolution data,” said ESA Mars Express scientist Colin Wilson. “The new software will help us more quickly and extensively study these regions in high resolution and confirm whether they are home to new sources of water on Mars. It really is like having a brand new instrument on board Mars Express almost 20 years after launch.
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The ESA’s press release says “MARSIS software was originally designed over 20 years ago, using a development environment based on Microsoft Windows 98”. It sounds like MARSIS software was developed on Windows 98, not that MARSIS itself runs Windows 98.