This isnt exactly Apple related, nor mac for that matter. But I came across some info about the computers that the two Mars rovers are using. The info surprised me a little, and would surely be good to use in arguments with our powerpc-hating windows fanboy friends. The Onboard Computer: The rovers use a RAD6000 computer produced by BAE systems. This processor is nearly identical in architecture to an old PowerPC processor used in early Macintosh computers. By today's standards, these processors are slow. They run at 20 megahertz, about 1/100th the speed of a typical desktop computer today. They have 128 kilobytes (KB) of RAM, 256 KB of flash memory and some ROM to hold the boot code and operating system. There are no disk drives. Although they are slow and incredibly expensive ($200K to $300K per computer), they have two big advantages: They are radiation-hardened so they are immune to the cosmic radiation falling on Mars. They run the ultra-reliable VxWorks (PDF) real-time operating system from Wind River Systems. This computer makes the rover that much more reliable than a typical desktop computer because it is never crashing or corrupting data.