The Mars Express Spacecraft to Get a Windows 98 Update
The Mars Express Spacecraft to Get a Windows 98 Update

The Mars Express Spacecraft to Get a Windows 98 Update

25 june, 20221 minute to read
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The Mars Express spacecraft orbiting Mars for more than 19 years is preparing for a Windows 98 update. It carries the Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionospheric Sounding (MARSIS) instrument, which uses software based on Windows 98.

The MARSIS instrument on the Mars Express spacecraft helped discover an underground aquifer of liquid water on Mars in 2018. A new software update "will allow it to see beneath the surface of Mars and its moon Phobos in more detail than ever before", ESA said. The agency originally launched Mars Express into space in 2003 as its first mission to the Red Planet, and it has spent nearly two decades exploring the planet's surface.

MARSIS uses low-frequency radio waves reflected off Mars' surface to search for water and study the Red Planet's atmosphere. The instrument's 130-foot antenna is capable of searching to a depth of about three miles below Mars' surface, and a software upgrade will improve signal reception and data processing on board to improve the quality of data sent back to Earth.

ESA and National Institute of Astrophysics (INAF) operators rely on the technique to store large amounts of high-resolution data on the MARSIS instrument, but it quickly fills the on-board memory. The new software will help study the planet more quickly and extensively with and confirm whether there are new water sources on Mars.

25 june, 2022
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