#NASA #Mars – This is the first Mars rover prototype recognised by NASA for Journey to Mars mission : The US space agency NASA has approved the first prototype of a Mars explorer robot that will go on Journey to Mars and will explore the martian surface in search of water and life.
A team of 10 students from the university in Mexico has designed the prototype without seeking any external help and by seeing it one can tell that it is a Mexican design.
Bryan Perez, one of the team member told about the prototype getting approved by the NASA and the International Astronautical Federation. He believes that the Mexico has the potential to conduct aerospace missions and present innovative ideas to benefit mankind.
The team consisting of ten members include nine engineering students from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and one from the National Polytechnic Institute.
While explaining about the new explorer robot design, Perez said that it contains three cameras for exploration and their unique position is what sets it apart from other rovers.
Two stereoscopic cameras are at front and back to chart the terrain while the third camera is installed below the body in order to monitor samples collected by a pincer.
In addition, the robot boasts several other key features including artificial vision, terrain mapping, and route selection abilities. These unique features make the robot capable of searching, collecting and storing samples from the Martian surface.
Perez further revealed that his team has also won the Sample Return Robot Challenge in 2015 and 2016, a competition organized by NASA for universities and companies to develop Mars rovers.
“We are as good as any of the major universities in the United States who use the same technology and methodology. The only difference is that they have more resources to carry out their projects,” he said.
It took over two years and cost about 180,000 pesos (9,285 U.S. dollars) funded by UNAM, to build the prototype. With very high moral, the team entered in the 67th International Astronautical Congress in the Mexican city of Guadalajara where the team won the title of the best team project.
NASA is all set to conduct Journey to Mars mission in early 2020s where the US space agency will send astronauts to set up a human colony on Mars and check whether Mars is habitable or not.
Moreover, observing Martian surface and atmosphere will reveal why the red planet has turned into a deserted place which will further help in predicting the future of Earth. Source: Tecake.in