KevinN206, on 01 March 2013 - 20:28, said:
Radiation is difficult to deal with since you have so many different types (Total Ionizing Dose, Single Event Upset, Proton, Neutron, etc...) that can kill electronics.
Oh I know. Doesn't make it any less sad. We're making water resistant dual-core phones (Xperia Z) and the Curiosity is floating up there with nearly decade old hardware, is the point. I'm sure there are things that can be done to improve the hardware we're sending up in space. Why wouldn't a dual or quad-core processor not be able to make it through space, but a processor essentially from 5 or more years ago? It's a bit ridiculous when you think about it!
Anaron, on 01 March 2013 - 20:30, said:
It isn't sad when you consider the importance of such a computer. The rover doesn't need anything high-end. It needs something that's radiation-hardened (e.g. resistant to ionizing radiation) and something that is reliable. You wouldn't put a Ferrari engine in a car you use to drive to work everyday right?
No, of course you wouldn't. However, I'd argue this is hardly even remotely close to the same thing. We're talking about exploring space. You don't believe that hardware capable of doing 10-20 times more would be infinitely more efficient? Using your analogy if we were to go into space today, you would rather have an engine built many years ago, or something built by today's standards and technology?