All items tagged with "Mars"

View 360-Degree Martian Panoramas With Your Gyroscope-Equipped iOS Device

View 360-Degree Martian Panoramas With Your Gyroscope-Equipped iOS Device

Search for Martians using your pocket computer.

Are you ready to have your mind blown? Then take a look at this 360-degree panorama of the surface of Mars, complete with cameo appearance by the Curiosity rover. And here’s the (literal) twist: the picture is gyroscope-friendly, so you can scan the surface of the Red Planet by sweeping your iOS device up and down, left and right.

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Why The Curiosity Rover Only Has A Two-Megapixel Camera

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Why does the Curiosity rover only have a 2MP camera, along with just 8GB flash storage? Is it some special NASA trick that pulls more info from low-res sensors? Is it something to do with the kind of space radiation that turned Reed Richards and team into the Fantastic Four? Nope – it turns out that the reason that the Mars Rover is using 8-year-old camera technology is because the camera design was specced eight years ago, way back in the swirling mists of 2004.

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NASA’s Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover Curiosity Essentially Has The Same Brain As A Bondi Blue iMac G3

NASA’s Nuclear-Powered Mars Rover Curiosity Essentially Has The Same Brain As A Bondi Blue iMac G3

Here’s an interesting little factoid for you. The Curiosity rover — which landed last night on Mars, remote controlled by a team of NASA scientists armed with MacBook Pros — runs on a RAD750 radiation-hardened single board computer.

This computer, in turn, is based on the IBM PowerPC 750 CPU, which Intel first introduce on November 10, 1997. This CPU was used by Apple in many computers in the late 1990s, including the original iMac.

As one insightful redditor notes: “Curiosity is essentially a 2-CPU Power Macintosh G3 with some nifty peripherals and one HELL of a UPS.”

NASA Used A Lot Of MacBooks To Get The Curiosity Rover To Mars

NASA Used A Lot Of MacBooks To Get The Curiosity Rover To Mars

NASA’s heroes in the Mission Control room working from their Macs

Did you hear that we touched down on Mars? Again. Late last night NASA’s rover Curiosity successfully carried out a very challenging landing on Mars so that it can explore the red planet and send data back to Earth.

How’d it get there? First there was a bunch of rocket science stuff that we don’t really understand, but the landing sequence was guided and watched by a bunch of NASA brainiacs on their MacBooks Pros. Who says hipsters are the only ones that use a Mac?

Here’s another picture of the NASA MacBook setup:

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