Windows 98-powered Mars Spacecraft Receives Update

Launched in 2003, Mars Express and its MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Subsurface and Ionosphere Sounding) water probe have software running on Windows 98, one of the most important operating systems of the time. The European Space Agency’s vehicle has now received a major software update to increase its chances of discovering water on the planet.

ESA’s MARSIS instrument was key to the discovery of the massive underground liquid water aquifer in 2018. Thanks to the new software update, Mars layers and Phobos will be able to be studied in more detail. ESA spent nearly two decades exploring the planet’s surface when it launched its Mars Express spacecraft on a voyage to the Red Planet in 2003.

Mars Expressten goruldugu gibi Marsin guney kutbu.
The south pole of Mars as seen from Mars Express.

MARSIS uses low-frequency radio waves reflected from the Martian surface to search for water and study the atmosphere of the Red Planet. The device’s 130-foot antenna can search about three miles below the Martian surface, and software upgrades will improve signal reception and onboard data processing to improve the quality of data sent back to Earth.

ESA did not provide full details about the MARSIS software update. But of course we don’t expect them to activate TPM 2.0 in BIOS to install Windows 11 🙂

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