The European Space Agency’s (ESA) Mars Express is finally getting a long-awaited update. You can call it an upgrade, because the spacecraft will have a new operating system after Windows 98. We ourselves have already advanced a number of Windows variants here on earth, but the equipment space is simply a little more old-fashioned and therefore also works in a quieter environment.
ESA engineers launched an orbiter into space almost 20 years ago, and it’s now ready for a new operating system. Although the Mars Express still works well on its own, its instruments have begun to use software that would benefit from an upgrade to something beyond Windows 98. Specifically, MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding Important technology: he discovered in 2018 that there must be water on the red planet.
The upgrade also means something for the discoveries we can make with the orbiter. This way we can look better under the surface of Mars and learn many more details about the planet. MARSIS uses low-frequency radio waves that bounce off Mars to search for water. There’s a big antenna on the device that can see a few miles below the planet’s surface. The signal from this 40 meter long antenna can be received better by upgrading.
ESA writing“Most of these waves are reflected from the planet’s surface, but significant amounts pass through the crust and are reflected at the boundaries between layers of various materials below the surface, including ice, soil, rock, and By examining the reflected signals, scientists can map the structure below the surface of the Red Planet to a depth of several kilometers and study properties such as the thickness and composition of the polar ice caps and the properties of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. .
The on-board memory fills up quickly, causing the ESA to discard data that is not needed. For example, MARSIS can be lit for five times longer and a larger area can be explored. New sources of water perhaps? Mars Express will take some getting used to. Windows 98 is still considered one of the best operating systems of all time. Either way, it’s better than many Windows types that came after it, which begs the question of where exactly the ESA is upgrading the device.
We remain focused on the planet Mars. We have now visited the Moon (and of course will again, but this time with a black person and a woman, for the first time in history). However, there is a big race around Mars. Who will be the first to set foot on Mars? Elon Musk would like to colonize it immediately with his SpaceX. At the moment, however, it will take another 9 months for humans to arrive on Mars, which means that there is still a lot of research to be done before exposing our fellow human beings to this.
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