Artists concept of Curiosity landing on Mars.

Mars Curiosity rover helped by Coverity

Code testing company Coverity helped Nasa’s Curiosity rover in its mission to Mars.

Coverity announced today that it helped check the software guiding the successful landing of Curiosity on Mars. Coverity said its static analysis, a development testing solution that identifies code defects, was used by Nasa as a key part of the code review process.

Nasa developers used Coverity to test all of the software that controlled the flight and onboard functions of Curiosity – over two million lines of code – to ensure that every software defect was found and fixed before launch, Coverity said.

Curiosity, a one-tonne, six-wheeled vehicle the size of a compact car, landed inside a vast, ancient impact crater near Mars’s equator on 6 August after an eight-month, 354-million-mile voyage through space. Its two-year mission is aimed at determining whether or not the planet most like Earth could have hosted microbial life.

Curiosity’s primary target is Mount Sharp, a towering mound of layered rock rising from the floor of Gale Crater.

Coverity said a single defect in the software could mean the difference between success and failure of the $2.5bn mission and impair its ability to assess the possibility of life on Mars.

“The use of Coverity technology in mission-critical projects with zero tolerance for error is a testament to our unique ability to quickly detect unpredictable and traditionally hard to spot software defects,” said Jennifer Johnson, VP of Marketing at Coverity.

"We are honored to have been able to contribute to this significant scientific achievement and help Nasa unlock the secrets of potential life on Mars," she said.

Further information:

Watch a video on Coverity’s involvement in the Curiosity mission.

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