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Thread: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

  1. #1
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    Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Dear Ubuntu Community!

    I noticed something really cool while watching one of Nasa's videos. Now if my eyes don't deceive me it looks like Nasa is using Ubuntu for their Curiosity rover on Mars. See for yourself! Here is the link to the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxVVgBAosqg. Oh and Happy Birthday, Curiosity!

    Have a nice day!
    Stu




  2. #2
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    i wonder is it 10.04 or 12.04? doesn't look like unity is there or am i wrong?

    It's not happy birthday. i mean it should be happy landing day.

    it was conceived quite long ago. i believe it uses P2 250 Mhz or is it 400Mhz for it's CPU. probably they locked specs early plus those CPu were already tried and tested at the time. i still have to wonder why not choose something stronger and maybe even more energy efficient? oh well i guess those guys knoe what they are doing.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
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  3. #3
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Quote Originally Posted by mastablasta View Post
    i wonder is it 10.04 or 12.04? doesn't look like unity is there or am i wrong?
    It's Unity using the auto-hide launcher feature.
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  4. #4
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Cool, but not really surprising.

    Nasa has written a huge amount of free software over the years, and their use of Linux is pretty well documented. Especially in clusters, but as individual workstations as well.

  5. #5
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    That's a computer at JPL. Curiosity rover uses a real-time OS called VxWorks.

  6. #6
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Well, the frame of the screenshots has the Ubuntu logo but I can't tell what's on the monitors the JPL/NASA guy is using. Yeah, I believe it's possible for NASA to be using Linux, even the military is using Linux because it is more secure, but aside from the frames of the screenshots, I could not tell if the guy is actually using Ubuntu.... What did I miss?

  7. #7
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    IMO the US government (and probably lots of other governments) use Linux because of its open nature. Lots of research labs use it, (look up 'beowulf cluster' for example) and they do so because the computers can have what they want on it and nothing else. It's easily the cheapest and most configurable UN*X out there, and a whole lot of scientific software is available for it.

    It only stands to reason that they'd use workstations that are Linux too. And Ubuntu Server has a nice minimal footprint, so it would be a good place to start for clusters.

  8. #8
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyOats View Post
    I believe it's possible for NASA to be using Linux
    I would be amazed if they weren't. Linux has always been pretty common in robotics.

  9. #9
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Nasa using linux is not even slightly a "maybe." Google 'nasa linux' and you'll be amazed. The international space station is using Linux, and nasa has been heavily involved in Linux for a long time. Go to nasa.gov, search on 'linux'. There's an endless supply of links.

  10. #10
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    Re: Nasa uses Ubuntu for Curiosity rover!

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadlyOats View Post
    Well, the frame of the screenshots has the Ubuntu logo but I can't tell what's on the monitors the JPL/NASA guy is using. Yeah, I believe it's possible for NASA to be using Linux, even the military is using Linux because it is more secure, but aside from the frames of the screenshots, I could not tell if the guy is actually using Ubuntu.... What did I miss?
    I'm probably being overconfident in my earlier assessment of it being unity, but two things strike me on why.
    First, the panel layout, with the indicators at the far right, and minimal text on the left. No launchers on the panel, no task manager either.
    Secondly, the close,min,max buttons on the left. I don't know of any other desktop that does that. Macs maybe, but if nasa ran macs, it would cause a hissy-fit, budget-wise.
    Splat Double Splat Triple Splat
    Earn Your Keep
    Don't mind me, I'm only passing through.
    Once in a blue moon, I'm actually helpful
    .

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