By Kalwinder Kaur
Wind River, a global embedded and mobile software subsidiary of Intel, has felicitated the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) for the successful landing of the advanced planetary rover, Curiosity, on the planet Mars.
On August 5, 2012, at around 10:31 p.m. PDT, the Mars Science Laboratory Rover landed successfully on Mars. It had left Earth on November 26, 201. Wind River's VxWorks real-time operating system (RTOS) is the core operating system which powers the rover. It is designed to handle the complex landing sequence that is considered as the “seven minutes of terror.”
The landing consists of entry, descent and landing phases. In order to survive the landing, very high precision is required. After landing, the VxWorks RTOS will be used to perform control of ground operations, relay communication between Earth and Mars, and collect data.
The President of Wind River, Ken Klein stated that the landing of Curiosity on Mars was a landmark achievement for global space exploration. Wind River has served as a trusted advisor to other companies in the development of defense and aerospace products. It had assisted in Iridium Communications’ in-orbit satellite constellation, CIRA’s FTB-1 reusable unmanned spacecraft, and the PROBA satellite from the European Space Agency.
In 1994, Wind River’s VxWorks was launched with the Clementine Moon probe. Later, it was used in the Mars Pathfinder Mission. The technology is being used in the Stardust spacecraft, Mars Exploration Rovers and other spacecrafts.
The Curiosity rover will be used to study the suitability of Mars for human habitation in the future and whether any microbial life had existed on the planet.