Mars mission may spawn cool new technologies IDG News Service

Mars’ Gusev Crater and Meridiani Planum are a long way from Silicon Valley, but just getting to those spots and digging around may help bring about IT breakthroughs on Earth, according to some engineers involved with the mission. The Mars Exploration Rovers mission, in which a pair of six-wheeled rovers have gone to Mars to study the planet’s makeup and look for evidence of water, is forcing engineers to deal with extraordinary conditions, not the least of which is the 170 million kilometers (106 million miles) between the rovers’ destination and mission controllers on Earth. However, the special demands of the months-long flight and the surface of Mars call for some capabilities that may be useful closer to home.