• Question: why are the rovers that have been sent to mars so slow

    Asked by 333btr45 to Elie on 14 Mar 2016.
    • Photo: Elie Allouis

      Elie Allouis answered on 14 Mar 2016:

      ..picture this.. open your eyes, pick a point ahead of you close your eyes and get there…. that’s pretty much how rover operates so far, by mapping their environment for Ground control who plans a path and ask the rover to follow it…and then there is a 8-40 min round trip for the command to go to Mars and the images to come back…so you probably don’t want to be driving around fast as you would probably crash into something. 🙂

      But this is going to change a bit. In 2018 we will be launching the ExoMars rover that can plan its own path and follows it by itself. This mean we can cover longer distance without having the operators on the ground planning every move. Again we don’t want to rover to go too quickly…but this will certainly make the mission much easier.
      Have a look here for more info http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14789230 or there with a video of one of my colleague explaining how it works: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02qv8jx