Jump to content

Windows 98 and the Mars Express Probe


Recommended Posts

Some one corrected the article elsewhere, stating the probe is running an RTOS, and that Windows 98 was just used during development. Which makes more sense to me, though I've not confirmed that either. I just took the article at face value.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Scott Robison changed the title to Windows 98 and the Mars Express Probe

The amount of misinformation and click bait articles around this subject is saddening. I tried googling around a bit and came back a bit mad to be honest 😞

For instance here is https://interestingengineering.com/the-esas-mars-express-is-upgraded-from-windows-98  claiming "After 20 years, the Mars Express spacecraft will get rid of Windows 98" which makes ZERO sense in more ways than one.

Windows (no matter which version, but in particular the dos based ones that were extremely prone to crashing even when left alone) is not a fit operating system in any way shape or form for these kind of machines. Also spacecraft usually do not use an intel CPU, but rather special radiation hardened variants of MIPS or PowerPC, so good luck running windows on that. (Unless it is Windows NT 4 !) This is at least mentioned in the Toms Hardware article, but in a silly way by somewhat implying the probe uses the cpu from the bondi blue imac.

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"Blue Screen of Death" orbiting the "Red Planet".

In all seriousness, no matter what OS and hardware they use, it's vetted and tested to meet requirements and stability that those in the consumer market could only dream about. That's one reason the hardware they often send up is inferior (in terms of raw performance) to what most of us use, that process is long and complex, for good reason. Like @desertfish said, it's often specially designed or modified to withstand the conditions it's going to be exposed to, as well as longevity, stability, power consumption, etc.

I always thought it was cool how that process works. 🙂

Edited by Strider
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 6/27/2022 at 1:13 PM, Strider said:

"Blue Screen of Death" orbiting the "Red Planet".

In all seriousness, no matter what OS and hardware they use, it's vetted and tested to meet requirements and stability that those in the consumer market could only dream about. That's one reason the hardware they often send up is inferior (in terms of raw performance) to what most of us use, that process is long and complex, for good reason. Like @desertfish said, it's often specially designed or modified to withstand the conditions it's going to be exposed to, as well as longevity, stability, power consumption, etc.

I always thought it was cool how that process works. 🙂

Yes,.and it isn't a single point of failure anywhere if they can help it. Multiple processors have to agree. Updating is non-trivial,  particularly when it's the software that aims the antenna. 

I said before that vger is basically a C64, but it's a 22 bit system IIRC and a lot of that is devoted to error correction. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Administrators
On 6/28/2022 at 3:49 AM, Ed Minchau said:

specially designed or modified to withstand the conditions it's going to be exposed to, as well as longevity, stability, power consumption, etc.

I always thought it was cool how that process works.

And I also thought that this is example of probably the best use of computer as invention.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Please review our Terms of Use