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Inside NASA
Inside NASA's new Mars rover concept vehicle
Published: 2017/06/03
Channel: CBS This Morning
The Curious Life of a Mars Rover | Nat Geo Live
The Curious Life of a Mars Rover | Nat Geo Live
Published: 2015/01/26
Channel: National Geographic
This Is the Rover of the Future
This Is the Rover of the Future
Published: 2014/07/18
Channel: Smithsonian Channel
[Top Documentary Films] Mars Curiosity Rover Landing Space 2015
[Top Documentary Films] Mars Curiosity Rover Landing Space 2015
Published: 2016/06/03
Channel: Top Documentary Film
What sets Curiosity apart from other Mars Rovers?
What sets Curiosity apart from other Mars Rovers?
Published: 2011/12/09
Channel: SpaceRip
★ How to Get to Mars. Very Cool! HD
★ How to Get to Mars. Very Cool! HD
Published: 2011/03/01
Channel: Heli
Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Mars Exploration Rover Mission
Published: 2010/06/25
Channel: Mohammad Dmour
Humans … Start your Rovers!
Humans … Start your Rovers!
Published: 2016/04/08
Channel: NASA
Mars Curiosity Rover Landing[Space Documentary]HD
Mars Curiosity Rover Landing[Space Documentary]HD
Published: 2015/07/12
Channel: Documentary Channel
Mission to Mars 2024 Space X / NASA Space Travel Documentary
Mission to Mars 2024 Space X / NASA Space Travel Documentary
Published: 2016/12/22
Channel: Benjamin Mcfarj 2017
NASA
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Published: 2018/01/21
Channel: NeoScribe
THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION - SPACE DOCUMENTARY
THE FUTURE OF SPACE EXPLORATION - SPACE DOCUMENTARY
Published: 2016/10/02
Channel: DEEP SPACE TV
3 Unique Rovers for Extreme Worlds
3 Unique Rovers for Extreme Worlds
Published: 2018/04/10
Channel: SciShow Space
50 Years of Mars Exploration
50 Years of Mars Exploration
Published: 2015/08/20
Channel: NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
This Is NASA
This Is NASA's Future Rover For Manned Explorations
Published: 2014/08/13
Channel: SpaceTee Vee
NASA
NASA's New Mars Rover Concept Looks Like A Batmobile
Published: 2017/06/07
Channel: Tech Insider
Testing a Space Rover Under Alaskan Ice
Testing a Space Rover Under Alaskan Ice
Published: 2014/06/23
Channel: National Geographic
This is Mars 2018 - Space Documentary  HD
This is Mars 2018 - Space Documentary HD
Published: 2017/12/11
Channel: The All-Seeing Eye
LEGO Classic Space Exploration MCU Rover | Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend 2017
LEGO Classic Space Exploration MCU Rover | Paredes de Coura Fan Weekend 2017
Published: 2017/08/21
Channel: Beyond the Brick
Space Exploration with the Rover
Space Exploration with the Rover
Published: 2017/10/19
Channel: AstroCamp
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Flat Earth | 100% Proof Space Travel is Fake & Mars Missions are Too ▶️️
Published: 2017/03/27
Channel: ODD Reality
Space Exploration Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner Rover
Space Exploration Mars Pathfinder and Sojourner Rover
Published: 2015/10/31
Channel: Antal Bejczy Center for Intelligent Robotics
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Welcome to Mars - Video for kids space camp
Published: 2013/07/16
Channel: Andrew Rader
Real World: Exploring the Lunar Electric Rover
Real World: Exploring the Lunar Electric Rover
Published: 2010/01/25
Channel: NASAeClips
Space Exploration Vehicle: the Mars Rover in VR 360 vision
Space Exploration Vehicle: the Mars Rover in VR 360 vision
Published: 2015/12/07
Channel: SlashGear
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Mars Rover Wrapping Up US Tour To Showcase Future Of Space Travel
Published: 2017/08/04
Channel: CBS Miami
The Next Mission to Mars: Mars 2020
The Next Mission to Mars: Mars 2020
Published: 2017/05/18
Channel: Veritasium
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Space Engineers - Rover Exploration Theory
Published: 2016/03/18
Channel: LastStandGamers
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DIY Space Exploration: Nor Cal Mars Rover Project
Published: 2011/10/10
Channel: Maker Faire
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Top 10 Space Exploration Accomplishments
Published: 2017/07/20
Channel: WatchMojo.com
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NASA's "Kilo Power" Nuclear Reactor for New Era of Space Exploration
Published: 2017/12/22
Channel: Wise Wanderer
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Space Engineers - Exploration Rover & Rocker-Bogie Suspension
Published: 2015/07/19
Channel: w4stedspace
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Channel: maasdigital
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Published: 2016/01/01
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Published: 2016/08/26
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Channel: Wiz Science™
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Channel: CBS News
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Published: 2017/12/17
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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Three different Mars rover designs; Sojourner, MER and Curiosity.
Curiosity's wheels on Mars, 2017

A rover (or sometimes planetary rover) is a space exploration vehicle designed to move across the surface of a planet or other celestial body. Some rovers have been designed to transport members of a human spaceflight crew; others have been partially or fully autonomous robots. Rovers usually arrive at the planetary surface on a lander-style spacecraft.[1] Rovers are created to land on another planet, besides Earth, to find out information and to take samples. They can collect dust, rocks, and even take pictures. They are very useful for exploring the universe.

Comparison with space probes of other types[edit]

Comparison of distances driven by various wheeled vehicles on the surface of Earth's moon and Mars (NASA, 15 May 2013; updated version of 28 Jul 2014).

Rovers have several advantages over stationary landers: they examine more territory and they can be directed to interesting features. If they are solar powered, they can place themselves in sunny positions to weather winter months. They can also advance the knowledge of how to perform very remote robotic vehicle control which is necessarily semi-autonomous due to the finite speed of light.

Their advantages over orbiting spacecraft are that they can make observations to a microscopic level and can conduct physical experimentation. Disadvantages of rovers compared to orbiters are the higher chance of failure, due to landing and other risks, and that they are limited to a small area around a landing site which itself is only approximately anticipated.

Features[edit]

Rovers arrive on spacecraft and are used in conditions very distinct from those on the Earth, which makes some demands on their design.

Reliability[edit]

Rovers have to withstand high levels of acceleration, high and low temperatures, pressure, dust, corrosion, cosmic rays, remaining functional without repair for a needed period of time.

Mars rover Sojourner in cruise configuration

Compactness[edit]

Rovers are usually packed for placing in a spacecraft, because it has limited capacity, and has to be deployed. They are also attached to a spacecraft, so devices for removing these connections are installed.

Autonomy[edit]

Rovers which land on celestial bodies far from the Earth, such as the Mars Exploration Rovers, cannot be remotely controlled in real-time since the speed at which radio signals travel is far too slow for real time or near-real time communication. For example, sending a signal from Mars to Earth takes between 3 and 21 minutes. These rovers are thus capable of operating autonomously with little assistance from ground control as far as navigation and data acquisition are concerned, although they still require human input for identifying promising targets in the distance to which to drive, and determining how to position itself to maximize solar energy.[2] Giving a rover some rudimentary visual identification capabilities to make simple distinctions can allow engineers to speed up the reconnaissance.[2] During the NASA Sample Return Robot Centennial Challenge, a rover, named Cataglyphis, successfully demonstrated autonomous navigation, decision-making, and sample detection, retrieval, and return capabilities.[3]

Non-wheeled approaches[edit]

Other rover designs that do not use wheeled approaches are possible. Mechanisms that utilize "walking" on robotic legs, hopping, rolling, etc. are possible. For example, Stanford University researchers have proposed "Hedgehog", a small cube-shaped rover that can controllably hop—or even spin out of a sandy sinkhole by corkscrewing upward to escape—for surface exploration of low gravity celestial bodies.[4]

History[edit]

Landing sites of sample return and rover missions

Lunokhod 0 (No.201)[edit]

The Soviet rover was intended to be the first roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon, but crashed during a failed start of the launcher 19 February 1969.

Lunokhod 1[edit]

The Lunokhod 1 rover landed on the Moon in November 1970.[5] It was the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on any celestial body. The Soviet Union launched Lunokhod 1 aboard the Luna 17 spacecraft on November 10, 1970, and it entered lunar orbit on November 15. The spacecraft soft-landed in the Sea of Rains region on November 17. The lander had dual ramps from which Lunokhod 1 could descend to the lunar surface, which it did at 06:28 UT. From November 17, 1970 to November 22, 1970 the rover drove 197 m, and during 10 communication sessions returned 14 close up pictures of the Moon and 12 panoramic views. It also analyzed the lunar soil. The last successful communications session with Lunokhod 1 was on September 14, 1971. Having worked for 11 months,[6] Lunokhod 1 held the durability record for space rovers for more than 30 years, until a new record was set by the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Apollo 15 Lunar Rover

Apollo Lunar Roving Vehicle[edit]

NASA included Lunar Roving Vehicles in three Apollo missions: Apollo 15 (which landed on the Moon July 30, 1971), Apollo 16 (which landed April 21, 1972) and Apollo 17 (which landed December 11, 1972).[7]

Lunokhod 2[edit]

The Lunokhod 2 Lunar Rover

The Lunokhod 2 was the second of two unmanned lunar rovers landed on the Moon by the Soviet Union as part of the Lunokhod program. The rover became operational on the Moon on January 16, 1973.[8] It was the second roving remote-controlled robot to land on any celestial body. The Soviet Union launched Lunokhod 2 aboard the Luna 21 spacecraft on January 8, 1973, and it entered narayana space orbital in by NOVA THE MASS TEAM on January 12, 1973. The spacecraft soft-landed in the eastern edge of the Mare Serenitatis region on January 15, 1973. Lunokhod 2 descended from the lander's dual ramps to the lunar surface at 01:14 UT on January 16, 1973. Lunokhod 2 operated for about 4 months, covered 39 km (24 mi) of terrain, including hilly upland areas and rilles, and sent back 86 panoramic images and over 80,000 TV pictures.[9][10][11] Based on wheel rotations Lunokhod 2 was thought to have covered 37 km (23 mi) but Russian scientists at the Moscow State University of Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK) have revised that to an estimated distance of about 42.1–42.2 km (26.2–26.2 mi) based on Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) images of the lunar surface.[12][13] Subsequent discussions with their American counterparts ended with an agreed-upon final distance of 39 km (24 mi), which has stuck since.[14][15]

Prop-M Rover

Prop-M Rover[edit]

The Soviet Mars 2 and Mars 3 landers each had a small 4.5 kg Mars rover on board, which would have moved across the surface on skis while connected to the lander with a 15-meter umbilical. Two small metal rods were used for autonomous obstacle avoidance, as radio signals from Earth would have taken too long to drive the rovers using remote control. The rover was planned to be placed on the surface after landing by a manipulator arm and to move in the field of view of the television cameras and stop to make measurements every 1.5 meters. The rover tracks in the Martian soil would also have been recorded to determine material properties. Because of the crash landing of Mars 2 and the communication failure (15 seconds post landing) of Mars 3, neither rover was deployed.

Lunokhod 3[edit]

The Soviet rover was intended to be the third roving remote-controlled robot on the Moon in 1977. The mission was canceled due to lack of launcher availability and funding, although the rover was built.

Marsokhod[edit]

The Marsokhod was a heavy Soviet rover (hybrid, with both controls telecommand and automatic) aimed at Mars, part of the Mars 4NM and scheduled to be released (after 1973 according to the plans of 1970) launched by a N1 rocket that never arrived to fly successfully.[16]

Sojourner on Mars

Sojourner[edit]

The Mars Pathfinder mission included Sojourner, the first rover to successfully deploy on another planet. NASA, the space agency of the United States, launched Mars Pathfinder on 4 December 1996; it landed on Mars in a region called Chryse Planitia on 4 July 1997.[17] From its landing until the final data transmission on 27 September 1997, Mars Pathfinder returned 16,500 images from the lander and 550 images from Sojourner, as well as data from more than 15 chemical analyses of rocks and soil and extensive data on winds and other weather factors.[17]

Beagle 2 Planetary Undersurface Tool[edit]

Beagle 2 was designed to explore Mars with a small "mole" (Planetary Undersurface Tool, or PLUTO), to be deployed by the arm. PLUTO had a compressed spring mechanism designed to enable it to move across the surface at a rate of 20 mm per second and to burrow into the ground and collect a subsurface sample in a cavity in its tip. Beagle 2 failed while attempting to land on Mars in 2003.

Mars Exploration Rover A Spirit[edit]

Spirit is a robotic rover on Mars, active from 2004 to 2010. It was one of two rovers of NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. It landed successfully on Mars at 04:35 Ground UTC on January 4, 2004, three weeks before its twin, Opportunity (MER-B), landed on the other side of the planet. Its name was chosen through a NASA-sponsored student essay competition. The rover became stuck in late 2009, and its last communication with Earth was sent on March 22, 2010.

Chang'e 3's Yutu Rover[edit]

Chang'e 3 is a Chinese Moon mission that includes a robotic lunar rover Yutu, named after the pet rabbit of Chang'e, the goddess of the Moon in Chinese mythology. Launched in 2013 with the Chang'e 3 mission, it is China's first lunar rover, the first soft landing on the Moon since 1976 and the first rover to operate there since the Soviet Lunokhod 2 ceased operations on 11 May 1973.[18] It was deployed on the Moon on December 14, 2013 and the rover encountered operational difficulties toward the end of the second lunar day[19] after surviving and recovering successfully the first 14-day lunar night (about a month on the Moon)[20], and was unable to move after the end of the second lunar night, though it continued to gather useful information for some months afterward.[21] In October 2015, Yutu set the record for the longest operational period for a rover on the Moon.[22] On 31 July 2016, Yutu ceased to operate after a total of 31 months, well beyond its original expected lifespan of three months.[23]

Active rover missions[edit]

Active rover locations in context[edit]

Acidalia PlanitiaAcidalia PlanitiaAlba MonsAmazonis PlanitiaAonia TerraArabia TerraArcadia PlanitiaArcadia PlanitiaArgyre PlanitiaElysium MonsElysium PlanitiaHellas PlanitiaHesperia PlanumIsidis PlanitiaLucas PlanumLyot CraterNoachis TerraOlympus MonsPromethei TerraRudaux CraterSolis PlanumTempe TerraTerra CimmeriaTerra SabaeaTerra SirenumTharsis MontesUtopia PlanitiaValles MarinerisVastitas BorealisVastitas BorealisMap of Mars
Interactive imagemap of the global topography of Mars, overlain with locations of Mars landers and rovers (Red label = Rover; Blue label = Lander; bold red/blue = currently active). Hover your mouse to see the names of over 25 prominent geographic features, and click to link to them. Coloring of the base map indicates relative elevations, based on data from the Mars Orbiter Laser Altimeter on NASA's Mars Global Surveyor. Reds and pinks are higher elevation (+3 km to +8 km); yellow is 0 km; greens and blues are lower elevation (down to −8 km). Whites (>+12 km) and browns (>+8 km) are the highest elevations. Axes are latitude and longitude; Poles are not shown.
Beagle 2
Bradbury Landing
Deep Space 2
Mars 2
Mars 3
Mars 6
Mars Polar Lander
Challenger Memorial Station
Green Valley
Schiaparelli EDM lander
Carl Sagan Memorial Station
Columbia Memorial Station
Thomas Mutch Memorial Station
Gerald Soffen Memorial Station
Mars Exploration Rover

Mars Exploration Rover B Opportunity[edit]

Opportunity is a robotic rover on the planet Mars, active since 2004. It is the remaining rover in NASA's ongoing Mars Exploration Rover Mission. Launched from Earth on July 7, 2003, it landed on the Martian Meridiani Planum on January 25, 2004 at 05:05 Ground UTC (about 13:15 local time), three weeks after its twin Spirit (MER-A) touched down on the other side of the planet. On July 28, 2014, NASA announced that Opportunity, after having traveled over 40 km (25 mi) on the planet Mars, has set a new "off-world" record as the rover having driven the greatest distance, surpassing the previous record held by the Soviet Union's Lunokhod 2 rover that had traveled 39 km (24 mi).[24][25] (related image)

Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity[edit]

Mars Science Laboratory

On 26 November 2011, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory mission was successfully launched for Mars. The mission successfully landed the robotic Curiosity rover on the surface of Mars in August 2012, whereupon the rover is currently helping to determine whether Mars could ever have supported life, and search for evidence of past or present life on Mars.[26][27]

Planned rover missions[edit]

Chandrayaan 2[edit]

The Chandrayaan-2 is a mission by India, consisting of a lunar orbiter, a lander, and a rover. An opportunity was given to students to design this rover. 150 students submitted their designs but only 6 were selected. The Indian-designed rover weighs 20 kg, will have six wheels and will run on solar power. It will land near one of the lunar poles and will operate for two weeks. The proposed launch is in October 2018.

TeamIndus Rover[edit]

TeamIndus, a private aerospace startup based out of Bangalore, is building a lunar mission comprising a lunar lander and rover. Originally started as a competitor for the $30M Google Lunar X Prize, the competition ended without a winner, but TeamIndus still plans on launching their spacecraft sometime in 2019.[28] The solar-powered rover has four wheels and will be equipped with a number of cameras including CASPEX micro-camera from CNES.[29] The rover will operate for a maximum of one lunar day or fourteen Earth days.

ExoMars Rover[edit]

The European Space Agency (ESA) is currently designing and carrying out early prototyping and testing of the ExoMars rover. As of 2017, the rover is scheduled for launch in 2020.[30][31]

Mars 2020 rover mission[edit]

Mars 2020 rover design infographic detailing cameras

The Mars 2020 rover mission is a Mars rover under development by NASA with a launch planned for 2020. It is intended to investigate an astrobiologically relevant ancient environment on Mars, investigate its surface geological processes and history, including the assessment of its past habitability and potential for preservation of biosignatures within accessible geological materials.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Exploring The Planets - Tools of Exploration - Rovers". Air and Space Museum. 2002. Retrieved 3 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Michael Schirber (8 July 2012). "Rovers of the future may make decisions on their own". Astrobiology Magazine. Mother Nature Network. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  3. ^ Hall, Loura (2016-09-08). "NASA Awards $750K in Sample Return Robot Challenge". Retrieved 2016-09-17. 
  4. ^ Chipman, Ian (2016-02-08). "Meet "Hedgehog": Engineers build cube-like rover for exploration of asteroids, comets". Phys.org. Retrieved 2016-02-11. 
  5. ^ "Lunar Lost & Found: The Search for Old Spacecraft". www.space.com. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  6. ^ "Luna 17 and Lunokhod 1". www.zarya.info. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  7. ^ "Experiment: Lunar Rover Vehicle". Ares.jsc.nasa.gov. Archived from the original on 2009-03-20. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  8. ^ "Luna 21 and Lunokhod 2". www.zarya.info. Retrieved 2009-08-23. 
  9. ^ Andrew Chaikin (March 1, 2004). "The Other Moon Landings". Air & Space/Smithsonian. Archived from the original on May 11, 2014. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  10. ^ Lewis Page (March 16, 2012). "New NASA snap of game developer's electric cart FOUND ON MOON: Probe in low pass over Garriott's radioactive tub-rover". The Register. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Lunokhod 2 Revisited". NASA. March 13, 2012. Retrieved May 25, 2013. 
  12. ^ Lakdawalla, Emily (June 21, 2013). "Is Opportunity near Lunokhod's distance record? Not as close as we used to think!". The Planetary Society. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ Witze, Alexandra (June 19, 2013). "Space rovers in record race". Nature News. Retrieved June 26, 2013. 
  14. ^ Inc., Pelmorex Weather Networks. "Opportunity breaks off-world driving record!". The Weather Network. 
  15. ^ "Trundling Across the Moon". lroc.sese.asu.edu. 
  16. ^ Советский грунт с Марса {{Country data {{{1}}} | flaglink/core | variant = | size = | name = | altlink = national rugby union team | altvar = rugby union}} Archived April 8, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ a b "Mars Pathfinder". NASA. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  18. ^ Molnár, László (24 May 2013). "Chang'e-3 revealed – and its massive!". Pull Space Technologies. 
  19. ^ "China's first moon rover has experienced a "mechanical control abnormality". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 26 January 2014. 
  20. ^ Boyle, Alan (12 January 2014). "Chinese moon lander and rover wake up after weeks of sleep". NBC News. Archived from the original on 14 January 2014. 
  21. ^ McKirdy, Euan (13 February 2014). "Down but not out: Jade Rabbit comes back from the dead". CNN. 
  22. ^ Jeff Foust (30 October 2015). "China's Immobile Rover Passes a Purely Figurative Milestone". SpaceNews. 
  23. ^ An (29 October 2015). "China's first moon rover sets record for longest stay". Xinhua. 
  24. ^ Webster, Guy; Brown, Dwayne (July 28, 2014). "NASA Long-Lived Mars Opportunity Rover Sets Off-World Driving Record". NASA. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  25. ^ Knapp, Alex (July 29, 2014). "NASA's Opportunity Rover Sets A Record For Off-World Driving". Forbes. Retrieved July 29, 2014. 
  26. ^ NASA Staff (26 November 2011). "Mars Science Laboratory". NASA. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  27. ^ Associated Press (26 November 2011). "NASA Launches Super-Size Rover to Mars: 'Go, Go!'". New York Times. Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  28. ^ TeamIndus plans lunar probe launch in 2019, expanding India's private space ecosystem. Immanuel Jotham, International Business Times. 8 April 2018.
  29. ^ CNES (29 June 2016). "France-India space cooperation: CNES partners India's TeamIndus to fly French technology to the moon in 2017". CNES. CNES. Retrieved 29 June 2016. 
  30. ^ "ExoMars Rover ESA Portal". ESA. 
  31. ^ "Full go-ahead for building ExoMars 2020". ESA. Retrieved 8 July 2017. 
  32. ^ Keith Cowing (21 December 2012). "Science Definition Team for the 2020 Mars Rover". NASA. Science Ref. Retrieved 21 December 2012. 

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