6 of 6Image
The most recent robotic space mission to start work is the Curiosity Mars Science Laboratory rover, which has just embarked on its workload following a month of post-landing checks.
Its main computers are a pair of identical Rover Compute Element boards, based on RAD750 processors running at 200MHz. This is a radiation-hardened version of the PowerPC 750 architecture, most notably used in Apple products, including the original iMacs. The Curiosity systems have 2GB of flash memory, 256MB of DRAM and 256kB of EEPROM.
The two systems are entirely interchangeable in use, with the main/backup designation being arbitrary.
The boards run the real-time VxWorks OS from Wind River Systems, which is now owned by Intel. VxWorks has been used or is planned for use on 11 spacecraft, including the two previous Mars Rovers, Opportunity and Spirit, as well as in BMW cars, Apache attack helicopters and Drobo network storage devices.