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Nasa updates Mars Curiosity rover software

13 Aug 2012
NASA's Mars rover

Nasa is set to update the software systems running on its Mars Curiosity rover to enable it to move around the planet's surface and gather more information on the materials it encounters.

The rover landed on the planet on 6 August and is set to spend up to two years examining soil and rock samples in an attempt to discover more about the planet and look for evidence of life, either current or extinct.

In a statement issued on Saturday, Nasa explained that at present the rover remains fully operational but that it had successfully tested the new software ready for installation for the next stage of its mission to Mars.

"Curiosity continues to be very healthy, with all instruments and engineering subsystems operating as planned," it said.

"Last night, the new flight software, which is optimised for surface operations, was tested for the first time and successfully executed all planned Sol 5 rover activities."

Nasa said the test proved the software update is ready to go live and so will be added to the rover on Monday, August 13.

Nasa also confirmed that the first full-resolution colour images of Mars have been sent back by the rover, such as the one below of the Gale Crater where the rover landed over a week ago, and which it claims resemble the south western US states.

Gale Crater image captured by Mars Curiosity rover by Nasa

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Dan Worth

Dan Worth is the news editor for V3 having first joined the site as a reporter in November 2009. He specialises in a raft of areas including fixed and mobile telecoms, data protection, social media and government IT. Before joining V3 Dan covered communications technology, data handling and resilience in the emergency services sector on the BAPCO Journal

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