July 6, 2022

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Twenty-year-old Mars probe gets an update for better data – IT Pro – News

A team of astronomers has updated the software of a measuring instrument aboard the Mars Express 2003 spacecraft. This instrument, MARSIS, runs on remnants of Windows 98. Thanks to the update, the probe can transmit more and better data.

The software update was developed by the Italian Istituto Nazionale di Astrofisica (INAF) and implemented by the European Space Agency (ESA). It will ensure that unnecessary data is not stored during measurements of the Martian surface by the MARSIS instrument and that the working memory of that instrument becomes full less quickly. “By blocking data we don’t need, MARSIS can run five times longer,” does it look With Andrea Cicchetti, Director of INAF. “We can also record a much larger area with each measurement.”

Space scientists hope to receive more qualitative data from MARSIS with this update. They want to use the instrument as soon as possible to investigate the area around the south pole of Mars, because they have already found traces of liquid water there in the past.

MARSIS stands for Mars Advanced Subsurface and Ionosphere Radar. The instrument has been used since 2003 to analyze the surface of Mars and see if there are traces of water on Mars. The instrument transmits radio waves at a low frequency to Mars. Some of these waves pass through the surface of Mars and are not reflected until they hit a new layer in the Earth’s interior. Using those reflected signals, scientists can determine what materials lie beneath the surface of Mars.

Mars fast probe