Curiosity Mars rover gets 50 per cent speed boost from software update

The navigation strategy of NASA’s Curiosity rover means it has to stop frequently to check its position, but soon a software update will allow it to move almost continuously

Technology



17 August 2022

An artist’s impression of the Curiosity rover on Mars

NASA/JPL-Caltech

A new software update will soon give NASA’s Curiosity Mars rover a 50 per cent speed boost, allowing it to cover a greater distance and complete more science. But the update very nearly didn’t happen because of a mysterious bug in the software that eluded engineers for years.

Curiosity, which landed on Mars 10 years ago this month, has already greatly outlived its planned two-year lifespan. It can be controlled in several ways, but the vast majority of the time, it operates …

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