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COTS lessons from Mars



Whole article at
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1107_2-5148988.html?tag=zdfd.newsfeed

"... the technology on Mars looks awfully like that on your desk--a general
purpose, standards-based platform like many others running a commercial
operating system doing custom tasks."

Relating the problem to previous problems years before with Pathfinder, a
spokesperson said, "the bug wasn't in their code, but was dependent on
abstruse aspects of the way the operating system worked. Linked to that, the
mission engineers had to have an extraordinary knowledge of the guts of the
operating system. As a report after the event said: 'A good lesson when you
fly COTS [commercial off-the-shelf] stuff--make sure you know how it
works.'" 

[Also other instructive one focuses on FLASH memory at
http://spaceflightnow.com/mars/mera/040126spirit.html.]
--
Pete Klammer / ACM(1970), IEEE, ICCP(CCP), NSPE(PE), NACSE(NSNE)
    3200 Routt Street / Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033-5452
  (303)233-9485 / Fax:(303)274-6182 / Mailto:PKlammer@ACM.org
 Idealism may not win every contest, but that's not what I choose it for!