Monday, June 25, 2007
Super Sized Mars Rover
The Planetary Society's weblog has a great report by Emily Lakdawalla on her visit a few days ago to JPL's newly expanded "Mars yard" and the unveiling and demonstration of the mobility model (no instruments or "brains" so naturally called the scarecrow) of the Mars Science Laboratory. This is one super-sized rover as shown in her photos and video clips. MSL is under development for a 2009 launch. It will not use solar panels for power (radioisotope thermal generators instead), so it won't be dependent on serendipitous Martian dust devils and wind gusts to blow away dust to keep power levels high as are its smaller cousins Spirit and Opportunity.