European Mars-bound rover begins testing in remote desert

Gigaom

You test a drill bound for Mars in Greenland. For a robotic rover headed to Mars, the European Space Agency turned to an even more remote location: the Atacama desert in Chile.

The ESA ExoMars rover is scheduled to land in 2019 on Mars, where it will search for signs of life. IEEE Spectrum caught that the ESA began testing the rover this week in the Atacama Desert. The location is very dry with reddish soil and zero vegetation, which makes it an excellent on-Earth mimic of Mars’ surface and an excellent place to test a Mars rover.

Atacama Desert

ExoMars will be expected to perform more autonomous tasks and move faster than NASA’s Curiosity rover. As a result, that’s a big focus of the testing going on in the Atacama desert. ESA will have limited contact with the rover once it lands on Mars, which it will replicate during the…

View original post ещё 105 слов