Dec 07 2014

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Canadian team looking to crowdsource Mars rover mission

Project aims to build mini Mars rover Beaver.

Thoth Technology plans to have Beaver on the Mars surface by 2018 looking for biomarker gases.

The lander, rover, instrument package and entry system will weigh about 75 kilograms (165 lbs.). This makes it about 30 percent of the weight of NASA’s Sojourner/Pathfinder mission — the first roving exploration of the Red Planet — that landed on Mars in 1997.

But the 13-lb. (6 kg) Beaver will be much smarter than the larger Pathfinder rover, working almost fully autonomously during its planned 90-day mission on the surface. This is different from how the much larger Curiosity and Opportunity rovers operate, which both require frequent guidance from NASA.

The mini rover will be equipped with sensors to provide information on holes and obstacles, and will feed that data to an algorithm that uses probability to figure out where the rover should go next. Beaver will assess the need to avoid obstacles in accordance with science objectives for the mission.


Permanent link to this article: http://www.newspaceraces.com/2014/12/07/canadian-team-looking-to-crowdsource-mars-rover-mission/

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