View Full Version : Detailed Look at Europe's ExoMars Rover

2006-Jul-11, 02:47 PM
Spirit and Opportunity have the Red Planet all to themselves for now, but ESA is planning to send a rover of its own to crawl the surface of Mars. The ExoMars rover is a wheeled robotic rover with a similar look to the NASA rovers, but it will have different science objectives and enhanced capabilities. Instead of looking for evidence of past water, ExoMars will be searching for traces of life, both past and present. If all goes well, ExoMars will launch to Mars in 2011.

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2006/07/11/detailed-look-at-europes-exomars-rover/)

2006-Jul-11, 05:15 PM
It will be interesting to see what solutions they have for some of the MER issues like dust collection, cold survival, and soft terrain.

2006-Jul-11, 05:35 PM
This will be an interesting project; can't wait!
I wonder if any microbe life is on mars, but we'll find out.

2006-Jul-12, 04:42 PM
I think something is missing: considering the power troubles the MERs have had with dust collecting on the solar power array, I think it might pay to build in a small compressor and tank, which would feed a nozzle which could be swept over the surface of the arrays. Sort of like using a compressor to blow the dust off of something in the (work)shop. Or maybe a wind-shield wiper type arm with a brush instead of a rubber blade.

Either way beats having to depend on dust devils to clean off the power supply. Speaking of dust devils, shouldn't the Generation 2 (3?) rover have an anemometer/weather vane setup to get some data on them?

2006-Jul-13, 08:33 PM
The best use of spacecraft mass to combat the dust problem is just more solar cells - nothing else provides as good a ratio of usefulness to mass. The Mars rovers were given far more than they strictly needed to survive the minimum time for mission success, which is a big reason why they've lasted so long.

2006-Jul-14, 02:47 PM
That's an interesting point. The ESA's rover is not likely to have a mission duration much longer than the MERs are having. It is hard to escape from the thought that it would be good to have a way to remove or repel the dust.

Ronald Brak
2006-Jul-14, 02:56 PM
Someone will probably come up with a lightweight way to remove the dust that will seem totally obvious after we've seen it and the poor guy will never get the respect he deserves.

2006-Jul-17, 05:06 PM
Coat them with Rainex!

2006-Jul-18, 12:49 PM
That would have to be Dustex.

Such a system would have to have very few moving parts. I wonder if it would work to enable the solar panels to build up a static charge, and then park the rover on a slope, so all the dust elevates, and then slides off.

2006-Jul-18, 10:18 PM
I love the explorers, but the first human on Mars(actually I think it should be a woman)....that's a day I look forward to....:dance: Pete.