Ian Lamont writes: "Computerworld has been tracking the health of the Mars rovers' hardware and software over the past several years, and how the rovers have been revived after a series of technical problems. In early 2004, shortly after the rovers landed, there were memory issues related to the mid-1990s technology being used. Then there were a series of OS upgrades that took as long as three days to complete, owing to the narrow pipe between Earth and Mars. As discussed earlier this week on Slashdot, The latest technical problems have been related to the rovers' electrical systems and dust storms on Mars, which prevented the solar panels from generating enough electricity for normal operations. Now that the dust storms are abating, controllers are restarting exploration and considering how long the rovers might last:
Computerworld has also collected a sample of some recent images from the rovers, and for the geeks out there who are really curious, there are the huge NASA repositories of all raw image files from both Spirit (100,965 images) and Opportunity (92,700 images).""We've long since recognized that these vehicles are very capable and resilient after three-and-a-half years on Mars," [Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineering team chief Jake] Matijevic said. "I think we probably can go on for another calendar year at least and maybe longer, too."