Compression

In the aftermath of World War II, both USA and the Soviet Union started creating detailed technical studies for Mars missions. For decades ever since, space race became a pillar conflict in the cold war between the two superpowers. As Nasa finally managed to announce its first Mars exploration mission in 1989, hopes of finding evidence of habitability on Mars started to concretize. Such missions required gathering as much data as possible from the surface of mars and transmitting it back to the launching agency on earth; a process that proved to be daunting. To transmit large images from Mars, the cameras implemented within the Mars Exploration Rovers (MER) are bound to taking many individual images with a resolution of 480x640 pixels. Each individual image is then sent to the processing software, which gathers them into one large mosaic-like picture. As this process may take up tremendously large space on the CPU of the rover’s computer, an algorithm had to be created, allowing the reduction of the image size through compression.