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Old 08-12-2012, 11:31 AM   #1
Anenome's Avatar
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Recursion City
Posts: 49,889
Blog Entries: 62
Erlang and the Mars Rover

Found this article interesting, it's a look at the programming choices of NASA for building the Mars rover Curiosity. Obviously, the rover can't be allowed to simply fail, and there's limited opportunity to communicate with the rover. How does NASA deal with these challenges.

Well, Erlang, a language noted for its absolute reliability (nine-nines standard), is perfect for these sorts of constraints, yet the Curiosity uses C.
I cannot help but speculate on how the software on the Curiosity rover has been constructed. We know that most of the code is written in C and that it comprises 2.5 Megalines of code, roughly. One may wonder why it is possible to write such a complex system and have it work. This is the Erlang programmers view.
Read the rest here.
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