Bringing Home the Science Bacon
MRO recently passed a milestone of bringing back more data than all
previous deep space missions combined. To do this MRO was equipped
with a large dish antenna and powerful radio, and is running a more
powerful computer than it's companions on and orbiting Mars. It gets a
fair share of antenna time from the DSN antennae on the ground.
means collecting data, processing it for it's information, and
analyzing the information. All of these activities can be greatly
facilitated by some degree of computer assistance. When it comes to
remote-operated scientists (rovers, gliders, orbiters, diggers,
swimmers, crawlers, hover-ers..) the computer has to do all the work.