Go where no one has gone before—without leaving your computer. NASA has made more than 25,000 images of Mars available online at http://mars. jpl.nasa.gov/mgs/index.html. The images are from the Mars Global Surveyor (MGS) Mars Orbiter Camera (MOC) made during its mapping orbit, from March 1999 through August 1999. The Surveyor has made more than 5,000 orbits of the planet. The images include all of one Mars year, beginning in May 1997 and ending in September 1999, 687 Earth days.
As of May 2000, all MOC data acquired have been validated by the MGS MOC Operations Team at Malin Space Science Systems and deposited for permanent archive with the NASA Planetary Data System (PDS).
Also on the site are weekly reports of the project, live images of the command center, and VRML models of the spacecraft.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.