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NASA's control room flooded with Macs during Mars Curiosity landing

post #1 of 135
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Sometimes pictures are worth a thousand words, like those that appeared over NASA's live feed showing a control room riddled with Macs and other Apple products during the historical landing of the Curiosity rover on planet Mars last night.

The photos, captured from the live stream by Reddit users (via TMO), show nearly a dozen Macs -- in addition to iPhones and even iPads -- in use by the space agency's Entry, Descent and Landing Operations (EDL Ops) team at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California Sunday evening.

NASA engineers can be seen fixated on their MacBook Pro screens and incoming data as the $2.6 billion Curiosity made a dramatic arrival on the Martian planet during what NASA scientists have dubbed "seven minutes of terror."

One closeup photo confirms that these Macs were indeed running Mac OS X and not a flavor of Windows, while a second shows a lone IBM ThinkPad looking a bit out of place among the Apple-dominated lab.







The two thousand pound car-sized rover set off from earth on November 26th, equipped with 17 cameras and a laser that will help NASA engineers survey the planet and its terrain from the Jet Propulsion Lab in an effort to determine whether Mars ever had an environment that was able to support life forms.

For some of the latest photos coming from Curiosity, check out this page over at NASA.
post #2 of 135

Nice - although they also use Chrome, Firefox as well as Parallels... also worth a thousand words, no?

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post #3 of 135

I actually tweeted about this while watching the landing! It was pretty impressive (both the landing and all the Macs!).

post #4 of 135

Yay the Mac! Not that Apple will give a stuff, they don't care about people using their products for serious work, they only want to sell you more rock songs.

post #5 of 135

Normal. They all look like Geniuses ...

post #6 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by justmark View Post

I actually tweeted about this while watching the landing! It was pretty impressive (both the landing and all the Macs!).

Just wait until NASA's iCloud account get hacked and they use Find My Rover to wipe Curiosity's drive.

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post #7 of 135

Maybe the JPL team just use Windows PCs to gain experience of "crashes"   ;~)

post #8 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoolook View Post

Nice - although they also use Chrome, Firefox as well as Parallels... also worth a thousand words, no?

 

If you look closely there's a status indicator if it's open or not. And all those apps you said are not open. Also, this picture was caught DURING their work.

post #9 of 135

Most of mission control actually runs Linux. Fact.

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post #10 of 135
Not surprising. In the 80s they would have used Sun SPARCs. I'm just surprised they use MacBooks instead Mac Pros. Windows at NASA? Scarier things have happened.

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post #11 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Just wait until NASA's iCloud account get hacked and they use Find My Rover to wipe Curiosity's drive.

Or send it to Saturn, or better yet Uranus lol.
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post #12 of 135
'Historic', not 'historical'.
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post #13 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

Most of mission control actually runs Linux. Fact.


Perhaps for the back-end servers I can see that, however I think they are predominantly a Windows (or now OSX) on the desktop.  Ubuntu is nice though.  Any links to check this out further?

post #14 of 135
I'm surprised they weren't iPads.
post #15 of 135
post #16 of 135
deleted

Edited by makingdots - 8/6/12 at 9:44am
post #17 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by umrk_lab View Post

Normal. They all look like Geniuses ...

No doubt.  They are definitely geniuses... They all look extremely nerdy- like the "I'm a PC" guy. 

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post #18 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Or send it to Saturn, or better yet Uranus lol.


Speaking of, this is worth watching: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3ppbbYXMxE

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post #19 of 135

Recall when NASA was working to get rid of all Mac and go pure WINTEL, not too long ago.

post #20 of 135

Great picture for the next time some idiot thinks an iPad with Mickey Mouse iOS is a computer. This is what you can do with an Apple computer and a real OS.

post #21 of 135

Those are ˝personal˝ computers not NASA ones certainly, a government agency buying Macs, NO WAY!


Edited by Ochyming - 8/6/12 at 9:44am
post #22 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

Great picture for the next time some idiot thinks an iPad with Mickey Mouse iOS is a computer. This is what you can do with an Apple computer and a real OS.

 

 

Please, you know that IS not true.

Some pro people are very happy with these .apps. 

post #23 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Not surprising. In the 80s they would have used Sun SPARCs. I'm just surprised they use MacBooks instead Mac Pros. Windows at NASA? Scarier things have happened.

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post #24 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

Great picture for the next time some idiot thinks an iPad with Mickey Mouse iOS is a computer. This is what you can do with an Apple computer and a real OS.

Guess that in your opinion I'm an idiot then... thanks.

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post #25 of 135
I wonder how the Android fans feel about the HW "specs" in the Mars rovers. A 2012 rover only having 256MB RAM and a 200MHz CPU? According to the Android user mentality it couldn't possibly be a functional device.



"Despite the distance involved with getting rovers to Mars the data they send back still costs less per KB than SMS."

"Frak you, China! Keep your Olympic gold medals. You can have Gym Class-level accomplishments, we just landed on Mars… again. USA #1"

"Now that the Mars Landing is complete we can get to what's really important... How does Chick-fil-A's CEO feel about it?"

"Curiosity: The name of the Mars rover -or- how NASA engineers look upon female genitalia?"

"Just one more rover and NASA will have completed it's Voltron project."


I'm all out of jokes. I'll let GTR take it from here.

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post #26 of 135

The guy with the IBM PC is the only holdover from the Mars Surveyor program.

post #27 of 135

Not surprising.

post #28 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by quinney View Post

The guy with the IBM PC is the only holdover from the Mars Surveyor program.
He worked on the Mars Climate Orbiter, too, right?

;-)
post #29 of 135

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 2:56pm
post #30 of 135

Check out the look on the face of the guy with the IBM Thinkpad - it shouts "What's happening, what's going on, what can you see?"

post #31 of 135

That one Sikh guy in the room must be having some mixed emotions 

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post #32 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

If I'm reading that chart correctly, the 256MB bot was Opportunity, in 2004.

 

Curiosity sports 2 GB RAM.

 

Neither used Android, or even Linux, nor even iOS, so I'm not sure what the comparison is about.

 

FWIW, you can run a full-blown Linux install on the Raspberry Pi, which, like the rover Opportunity, has only 256 MB RAM.

 

For myself, the more interesting spec in that link was the clock speed of the embedded systems:  Curiosity runs at only 200 MHz, and Opportunity at only 20 MHz.  That's some lean, green engineering.

car computer CPU's run around 128MHZ and play multi channel music through the stereo. according to some android fans you need a multi core CPU's just to do simple things like check email and listen to music at the same time

post #33 of 135

I am also seeing a lot of macs in schools.  I pass through Concordia university on my way to work and I see lots of macs laptops there.  I also saw a report last weeks about the students on strike in montreal and they all had macs. 

 

Seeing lots of young people usings apple devices is a very good sign for the future.

post #34 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

If I'm reading that chart correctly, the 256MB bot was Opportunity, in 2004.

Curiosity sports 2 GB RAM.
No, you are reading the chart incorrectly.

Spirit and Opportunity had 128MB RAM. Curiosity has 256MB RAM and 2GB of solid state storage (a.k.a. "disk space").

Look at the column headers.
post #35 of 135

deleted


Edited by MacRulez - 1/21/13 at 2:56pm
post #36 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

"Now that the Mars Landing is complete we can get to what's really important... How does Chick-fil-A's CEO feel about it?"

When Chick-fil-A COO, Dan Cathy, was asked about the Curiosity rover's seemingly successful Martian landing, he said, "Those scientists would learn more exploring the Bible than some decoration God hung in the sky."
post #37 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by agramonte View Post

Great picture for the next time some idiot thinks an iPad with Mickey Mouse iOS is a computer. This is what you can do with an Apple computer and a real OS.

 

i strongly suspect most people here are smart enough to realise two (2) things

 

- OS X is viable at home and at work; there's absolutely no need to be overly anxious to prove this fact

- NASA uses Linux as its default OS in both space and operational systems (i.e., the important stuff)

post #38 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

according to some android fans you need a multi core CPU's just to do simple things like check email and listen to music at the same time

 

 

certainly the people said those silly things in jest or in mockery of the ignorant.  i cannot believe anyone would state such things seriously.  do you have references to the actual posts?  if not, the statement above is complete hearsay.

post #39 of 135

25 people and 5 macbooks?  Got yourself an AI article.

post #40 of 135
Quote:
Originally Posted by d4rkriver View Post


When Chick-fil-A COO, Dan Cathy, was asked about the Curiosity rover's seemingly successful Martian landing, he said, "Those scientists would learn more exploring the Bible than some decoration God hung in the sky."

Seriously?

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