When NASA’s Perseverance Rover landed on Mars this week, it also brought the Linux operating system to the Red Planet.
Tidbit was mentioned in a The interview NASA software engineer Tim Canham gave IEEE Spectrum. Like the helicopter, the Persistence Rover on board the drone uses a Linux-powered software The frame The space agency opened a few years ago. “This is the first time we will be flying Linux on Mars. We are actually running on a Linux operating system, ”Canham said.
This may also be the first time that NASA has brought Linux-based equipment to Mars. Canham told PCMag in an email, “Linux has no previous use that I know of, certainly on previous rovers.”
Previous Mars Rovers have largely used proprietary OSs from software company Wind River Systems. The same holds true for the Perseverance Rover; Machine has been Established Along with Wind River’s VxWorks, which was used on previous Mars expeditions.
However, NASA settled on the Linux OS for Rover’s helicopter-like drone, Ingenuity, which was built using off-the-shelf parts including Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor, a smartphone chip.
“We wanted to choose a powerful compact processor for the helicopter, and the best candidate we got was the Snapdragon 801 board. [But] He did not have VxWorks for the board, ”Canham told PCMag. “This is definitely a win for Linux.”
We’ll have to wait and see how the drone performs. Ingenuity is an evidence for test-flight of an object in the atmosphere of Mars, which has a different gravity and a thinner atmosphere than Earth. The insights gathered will then be used to develop better drones for the planet for future missions.