NASA's rover Curiosity is conducting its scientific work on the surface of Mars as we speak. The rover has been tooling around on the surface of the red planet for a long time now and recently sent back the first data from rock datings that the rover has completed. During the last few days, NASA also updated the operating system for the rover.
The software update for the rover brings it to version 11 and adds capability to the rover. NASA says that the new rover OS extends the ability for Curiosity to use its robotic arm when the vehicle is on a slope.
The OS update also improves the ability of the rover to store information overnight to be used in autonomous driving on a second day. NASA had an issue with a previous update to version 10 that caused the rover to reboot unexpectedly. The new update went off without a hitch.
One of the first things that Curiosity did after the update to version 11 was take some photos of its wheels. NASA worried that the rocky terrain that the rover has been driving over may have damaged some of the wheels. The information the scientists learn about wear on the wheels of the rover from the self-pics will help to plot routes that will help extend the rovers lifespan as much as possible.