Mars robots to become smarter

May 30, 2006
Mars Exploration Rover

NASA reportedly plan to upgrade its Mars rovers' programs to help them more intelligently deal with observing phenomenon on the Red Plant.

The new algorithms to be uploaded into the rovers' memory banks will give them the ability to search images they have taken to find specific phenomena that is significant enough to transmit to Earth, the BBC reported Tuesday.

"An instrument can acquire considerably more data than can be down-linked -- this is a recurring theme on all spacecraft," said Rebecca Castano of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.

The space agency's Mars Odyssey spacecraft that's been orbiting Mars since 2001 will also get new, upgraded software this year, the BBC said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: NASA awards launch services contract for Mars 2020 rover mission

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