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  • This view results from the observation of a target selected autonomously by AEGIS onboard the Opportunity Mars rover.
12/09/2011 08:00:00

Rover Software Named NASA's Best of the Year

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory has won NASA's 2011 Software of the Year accolade for software it developed that has enabled the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity to autonomously select interesting science targets to study with its cameras.

Known as AEGIS (Autonomous Exploration for Gathering Increased Science), the software was uploaded to the rover in December 2009. Before that, the rover had to transmit images to Earth and then wait for instructions as scientists analyzed the images and operators generated and delivered new command sequences.

With AEGIS, Opportunity has been able to obtain scientific data about targets of interest within 45 minutes. AEGIS empowers Opportunity to select targets based on objectives specified by the mission science team. For a full release, click here

To learn more about AEGIS, visit

Written by Kimm Fesenmaier