August 31, 2014

More Cool Space News

Ready for more cool space news? This Gizmodo headline had me at “hello world” — NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover’s Flash Memory From 125 Million Miles Away.

NASA Opportunity Rover

How neat is that? According to Gizmodo, “NASA’s Opportunity rover is still trundling across the surface of Mars… But its software is getting bogged down, so NASA’s doing a full system backup, memory wipe, and reboot. It’s just like your routine computer cleanup, just from the next planet over.”

The Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity (note to future Geek Gold Gard parents — good names for twins!) have 256MB of flash memory each.

Imagine it this way. It is the Dark Times, the days of Windows 95, 98, and (Lords of Cobol help us all) Windows ME. Eventually the computer running said operating systems becomes so filled with cruft that it is unusable. (To be fair, this happened to me recently with Windows 7, although that was more about the bloatware that came pre-installed on the laptop. But I digress.) You reformat the hard drive and re-install the OS. (In my case, after several years of this, you give up, buy a Mac, and become an iHole.)

Now imagine that you are doing something similar, but remotely. REALLY remotely. Like, you’re on Earth and the computer is on frickin’ MARS.

Remember, we promised to get more excited about space travel.

This XKCD comic was in the comments section on Gizmodo, but I’m reposting it here because (a) I can (XKCD is cool that way) and (b) it’s funny.

XKCD Spirit

NASA Will Reformat Mars Rover’s Flash Memory From 125 Million Miles Away – Gizmodo

Image via Wikipedia

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