Free Newsletters - Space - Defense - Environment - Energy
. Mars Exploration News .

'Spiky' rovers could explore martian moon
by Staff Writers
Palo Alto, Calif. (UPI) Jan 2, 2013

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

U.S. researches say autonomous rovers exploring moons and asteroids could be a significant step toward a human mission to Mars.

Researches at Stanford University, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, have designed a robotic platform that could undertake such rover missions. Researchers have proposed sending a mission consisting of a mother spaceship dropping one or more spiked, spherical rovers onto the surface of the martian moon Phobos.

The small "hedgehog" rovers, less than 2 feet across, would roll and hop across the surface of Phobos, sending back data on its soil and other surface materials to their "mother ship," a Stanford release said.

The data would then be transmitted back to Earth.

Human control would be unnecessary for many mission parameters, researchers said.

"It's the next level of autonomy in space," said Marco Pavone, a professor in Stanford's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Although such rovers and a mother ship could explore any of the solar system's smaller inhabitants, including comets and asteroids, Pavone said he designed it with Phobos in mind.

Such a mission could test technologies for potential use in a human missions in the solar system, he said.

"It's a piece of technology that's needed before any more expensive type of exploration is considered," Pavone said of the mothership-rover system. "Before sampling we need to know where to land. We need to deploy rovers to acquire info about the surface."


Related Links
Mars News and Information at
Lunar Dreams and more

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Getting a Feel for the Terrain
Moffett Field CA (SPX) Jun 29, 2012
It's a hot summer day, and your eyes spot an ice cream cart up ahead. Without even really thinking, you start walking that direction. Planetary scientists would like to give robots that kind of visual recognition - not for getting ice cream, but for finding scientifically interesting targets. Currently, rovers and other space vehicles are still largely dependent on commands from their human cont ... read more

Russia designs manned lunar spacecraft

GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

NASA probes crash into the moon

No plans of sending an Indian on moon

Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

Station Crew Ringing in New Year

Expedition 34 Ready to Ring in New Year

New ISS crew docked at Space Station

Expedition 34 Spends Christmas in Space

Halfway Between Uranus and Neptune, New Horizons Cruises On

Dwarf planet Makemake lacks atmosphere

Keck Observations Bring Weather Of Uranus Into Sharp Focus

At Pluto, Moons and Debris May Be Hazardous to New Horizons Spacecraft During Flyby

Cassini Instrument Learns New Tricks

From Cassini for the Holidays: A Splendor Seldom Seen

Cassini Spots Mini Nile River on Saturn Moon

Titan, Saturn's Largest Moon, Icier than Scientists Thought

Satellites eye Great Lakes invasive plant

Turkey Steps up Collaboration with Astrium Services For SPOT 6 And SPOT 7 Data

Eighth Landsat Satellite Arrives At Launch Site

Eighth Landsat Satellite Arrives at Launch Site

China's Chengdu aiming to be world's next Silicon Valley

Satellite highs, suspension lows for Indian space sector in 2012

NASA's Destination Station Exhibit Opens In Mesa, Arizona

NASA Puts Orion Backup Parachutes to the Test

ALMA Sheds Light on Planet-Forming Gas Streams

A stray planet

Spiral Structure of Disk May Reveal Planets

Closest sun-like star may have planets

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement