NASA’s recently unveiled MARS Rover that may be in future is going to provide the transport during manned mission on Red Planet. The giant six-wheeled concept vehicle was unveiled at Nasa’s Kennedy Space Centre Visitor Complex this week. Its is made entirely of carbon fibre and aluminium, the electric and solar-powered truck is 28 feet (8.5m) long, 13 feet (4m) wide. It is designed to accommodate four astronauts. It even has its own detachable laboratory, for extraterrestrial fieldwork.
The scientifically-themed Mars rover concept vehicle operates on an electric motor, powered by solar panels and a 700-volt battery. The rover separates in the middle with the front area designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by the Global Positioning System. The back section serves as a full laboratory which can disconnect for autonomous research. The “Summer of Mars” promotion is designed to provide guests with a better understanding of NASA’s studies of the Red Planet. The builders of the rover, Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida, incorporated input into its design from NASA subject matter experts.
Nasa already has two robot ‘rovers’ on Mars but the space agency has vowed to plant human colonies on the Red Planet by the 2030s and so is looking ahead to transportation needs.
The New Rover was designed by Parker Brothers Concepts on specifications laid out by NASA. It informs about the designs of future transport on Mars. The truck separates in the middle with the front area designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by GPS. The back section serves as a laboratory which can disconnect entirely for autonomous research.
Designer Marc Parker, said the rover could hit top speeds of up to 70 mph, but was built to overcome the rocky environment of Mars, and so is expected to trundle along at around 15mph. “What we actually came up with was a dual-purpose vehicle. It actually separates in the middle,” he said. “The rear section is a full lab, the front area is a cockpit for going out and doing scouting. The lab section can actually disconnect and be left on its own to do autonomous research.
“That way the scout vehicle can go out to do its thing without the fuel consumption and extra weight, then come back later.”
Its six wheels are 50 inches (1.3m) tall, 30 inches (75cm) wide, and are designed with air ducts to let the red sands of Mars pass through.The rover was built as part of an educational programme to inspire the public about space exploration, but Nasa says it is keen to incorporate its design in future rovers.
“While this exact rover is not expected to operate on Mars, one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover astronauts will drive on the Red Planet,” said a Nasa spokesman.
Rebecca Shireman, assistant manager of public relations for Nasa’s Kennedy Visitor Complex added: “It’s an all-encompassing effort to review the history of our efforts to explore Mars and look ahead to what is being planned.”