A spaceship is updated after 19 years: it was created with Windows 98

The European Space Agency’s ( ESA ) Mars Express was initially launched in 2003 and, nearly two decades later, has just been upgraded.


The European Space Agency ( ESA ) has updated the software of its Mars Express spacecraft 19 years after its launch in June 2003.

The ESA has updated the MARSIS (Mars Advanced Radar for Suburface and Ioniospheric Sounding) software of the spacecraft, which was created with the Windows 98 system .

19 years later

This new update promises to drastically improve the efficiency of the Mars Express spacecraft , which explores the Red Planet.

The initial approach gathered large amounts of high-resolution data that quickly flooded memory. With the new software, scientists can discard unnecessary data. This allows MARSIS to run five times longer than before and cover much wider swaths of Mars and Phobos in a given pass.

martian exploration

Mars Express is most famous for discovering previous signs of liquid water on the Red Planet, but it’s also known for capturing dramatic images of the Martian landscape.

The upgrade should help explore the underground levels of Mars and Phobos in much more detail. The researchers hope the additional resolution will allow them to quickly confirm signals hinting at liquid water near the south pole of Mars.