NASA is preparing to take its new rover to Mars and is making its first driving tests with the robot, putting it to run in a controlled environment. The initial test keeps an eye on each mechanical execution of the robot, ensuring that suspensions are working properly and that the vehicle is doing well. Numerous tests will still be done, imagine putting such a millionaire investment in space without it working properly.
The simulation placed a small track covered with static control material to prevent damage to parts and had different levels to minimally simulate the uneven and rocky terrain of the red planet. This model, compared to previous achievements, is equipped with much better cameras, wider field of view and also with higher resolution. Also, according to NASA, this rover has more sophisticated navigation software, which will lead the robot to travel distances of up to 200 meters per day fully automatically.
NASA finds frozen water
just below the surface of Mars
One of the most complicated points when launching a piece of this type into space is the landing, scientists calculate the exact amount of fuel needed for the object to arrive on the planet, but there may be a problem that leads to shortages. It is also possible to lose control during a hard landing, even leading to loss of connection.
"The test unequivocally proved that the rover can operate at its own weight and demonstrated many of the autonomous navigation functions for the first time. This is an important milestone for Mars 2020."
Rich Rieber, Chief Engineer
Although the video of the process was short, the tests were actually quite long, it was about 10 hours checking if the vehicle was doing well. Rich Rieber, chief engineer of the robot's mobility system, said it was all right and the vehicle had earned its "driving license".