There’s a cool article over on Wired News talking about some of the problems with debugging a software system that’s 35 million miles away. It’s pretty light on the technical details, but it gives you an idea of the amazing difficulty of the task. Computers are hard enough to debug when they’re sitting right in front of you, but could you imagine working on something with a three minute ping?
[brian@samus ~](3)> ping spirit.mars.nasa.gov PING spirit.mars.nasa.gov(126.96.36.199) 56(84) bytes of data. 64 bytes from 188.8.131.52: icmp_seq=1 ttl=247 time=188195.2 ms 64 bytes from 184.108.40.206: icmp_seq=2 ttl=247 time=188180.3 ms 64 bytes from 220.127.116.11: icmp_seq=3 ttl=247 time=188175.7 ms 64 bytes from 18.104.22.168: icmp_seq=4 ttl=247 time=188177.8 ms 64 bytes from 22.214.171.124: icmp_seq=5 ttl=247 time=188172.0 ms --- spirit.mars.nasa.gov ping statistics --- 5 packets transmitted, 5 received, 0% packet loss, time 191458ms rtt min/avg/max/mdev = 188172.0/188180.2/188195.2/8.920 ms [brian@samus ~](4)>