NASA’s Mars 2020 rover ‘earned its driver’s license’, completes first driving test

nasa mars rover 2020
Laboratory in Pasadena, California, engineers observed the first driving test for NASA's Mars 2020 rover on Dec. 17, 2019. Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech

NASA’s next Mars rover has passed its first driving test. With launch just seven months away, NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passed its first driving test on 17 December.

NASA’s Mars 2020 rover passes first driving test on road to red planet

 

Mars 2020 rover is designed to make more driving decisions for itself than any previous rover. It is equipped with higher-resolution, wide-field-of-view color navigation cameras, an extra computer “brain” for processing images and making maps, and more sophisticated auto-navigation software. It also has wheels that have been redesigned for added durability.

“Mars 2020 has earned its driver’s license,” said Rich Rieber, the lead mobility systems engineer for Mars 2020. “The test unambiguously proved that the rover can operate under its own weight and demonstrated many of the autonomous-navigation functions for the first time. This is a major milestone for Mars 2020.”

 

 

The new rover is scheduled for launch atop an Atlas 5 rocket from Cape Canaveral Florida on 17 July.

Whats’s Mars rover Mission:

 

Mars rover 2020 will search for evidence of past microbial life, study the planet’s climate and geology and collect rock and soil samples for possible return to Earth on a future mission.

To achieve this, Mars 2020 rover is expected to rove an average of 200 meters (650 feet) per day.

 

 

 

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