Because of the limited number of information transmission channels and high bit error rate in Mars image transmission, a method of image compression software design and realization of Mars rover was proposed. The characteristics of rover image data management were analyzed, and the three capabilities that the rover image compression software needed to have were concluded: uniform file management capability, high-efficiency compression capability, and high fault tolerance capability. For uniform file management capability, a file system for uniform management of multiple types of image data was proposed. To meet the high efficiency and high fault tolerance requirements of the compression algorithm, based on run-length coding algorithm of first-1 bit, the three important processes of multi-load image unification processing, color image preprocessing, and segmented bit-plane image coding were expanded, to improve compression performance and fault tolerance. Then a complete set of image compression software design schemes was formed, using FPGA+DSP, and the complete set of software was realized. Finally a simulation verification system was used to verify the compression effect. Verification results show the effectiveness of the algorithm. This software has been verified by China’s Zhurong Mars rover and can effectively meet the needs of Mars exploration missions. The software design can be used as a reference for image compression in subsequent ultra-long-distance deep space explorations.