Join Donate

Doug EllisonAugust 20, 2007

Europlanet : I'll hit that rock in one!

by Doug Ellison in Potsdam

Part two of todays' afternoon session on Lunar Exploration and Robotics is about how to target a rock on Mars without having to jump through hoops to do it!

Dr David Barnes presented on the difficulties of getting a rover to reach a target, get its arm deployed and onto a science target. He didn't concede much ground in terms of the improvements to the MER software (which include systems such as 'go-and-touch') - but did explain what was true when Spirit and Opportunity first landed - that it could take as long as 3 days to identify, drive to, and deploy instruments on to a target.

He and his team at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, have been working on software that will hopefully run onboard spacecraft such as ExoMars to reduce that three-day timetable to less than a day. They worked on the software to simulated and calibrate the robotic arm for Beagle 2 - and with half a smile, he said that because it needed people in the loop so much, Beagle 2 was

Read more:

You are here:
Doug Ellison
Doug Ellison

Founder for unmannedspaceflight.com
Read more articles by Doug Ellison

Comments & Sharing
MER
Let's Change the World

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Today

Emily Lakdwalla
The Planetary Fund

Support enables our dedicated journalists to research deeply and bring you original space exploration articles.

Donate