Linux Security
Linux Security
Linux Security

To infinity and beyond: Linux and open-source goes to Mars

Date 22 Feb 2021
336
Posted By Brittany Day
LS Hmepg 337x500 23

If all goes well, the first flight on Mars will be made by the Linux-powered Perseverance Mars rover's companion drone helicopter.

 

Perseverance hit Mars' atmosphere at almost 12,000 miles per hour (19,312 kilometers per hour) and a mere seven minutes later NASA landed its latest Mars rover softly and safely. Onboard the one-ton mobile science lab is its tiny flying companion, the drone helicopter Ingenuity. If all goes well, the four-pound (1.8 kilograms) Ingenuity will be the first vehicle to ever fly on another world.  At 11-light minutes from Earth, no one will fly the dual-propped Ingenuity with a drone controller. Instead, it will fly itself using a combination of Linux and a NASA-built program based on the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's (JPL) open-source  (pronounced F prime) framework.

This will be no easy task. No one has ever tried to fly on Mars, which has an atmosphere only one-hundredth of the density of Earth's air. True, Mars also has only a third of Earth's gravity, but still, Ingenuity's engineers will be pleased as punch just to get Ingenuity off the ground.

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