The Mars Rover has been big news for several weeks, so it is no surprise that it continues to grab headlines even at Oracle OpenWorld this week. The Cube hosts John Furrier and Dave Vellante sat down with Vu Nguyen, Infrastructure Engineer at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the event. Nguyen revealed some details about NASA’s big data strategy.
Vu Nguyen spoke at OpenWorld about NASA’s Mars Curiosity Project, which is essentially the science laboratory that NASA has remotely established on the red planet. By understanding Mars geology better, Nguyen explained, people can better understand the geology of earth. The scientists hope to shed light on why Mars lost its atmosphere, water, and other features that it may have once had.
Vellante asked Nguyen about NASA’s plans for the future now that the shuttle program has come to end. Nguyen said that it was sad to see the last shuttle decommissioned, but it is by no means the end of space exploration. Some of the technological advancements, such as better image resolution for the new rovers are exciting for the scientists. Nguyen likened the image quality improvement to going from VHS to Blu-ray. That also means they must deal with larger amounts of data.
All of the data streamed from Mars arrives in a raw format, which the initial data team must acquire, process, and then pass on to the science teams. This constantly pushes the limits of the organization’s storage and data capacity. They process the data in real time because the scientists expect to be able to use the information from one day to prepare for the next.
Nguyen declined to provide specific details about the type of big data software his organization uses. Like the vastness of space, some things will remain a mystery. Watch the full interview at SiliconAngle.tv.