Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Rehearsal Readies Scientists For NASA's Next Mars Landing

Date:
August 20, 2002
Source:
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Summary:
With less than a year to go before the launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, scientists have spent the last few weeks at a high-tech summer camp, rehearsing their roles for when the spacecraft take center stage.

With less than a year to go before the launch of NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, scientists have spent the last few weeks at a high-tech summer camp, rehearsing their roles for when the spacecraft take center stage.

Related Articles


"The purpose of this test is really to teach the science team how to remotely conduct field geology using a rover, rather than to test the rover hardware," said Dr. John Callas, science manager for the Mars Exploration Rover mission at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. "We sent one of our engineering development rovers out to a distant, undisclosed desert location, with the science team back at JPL planning the operations and sending commands, just as they'll do when the actual rovers are on Mars."

The 10-day blind test, which ran from Aug. 10 to 19, used the Field Integrated Design Operations testbed, called Fido, which is similar in size and capability to the Mars Exploration Rovers. Although important differences exist, the similarities are great enough that the same types of challenges exist in commanding these rovers in complex realistic terrain as are expected for the rovers on Mars.

"The scientific instruments on this test rover are similar to the Athena science payload that will be carried by the Mars Exploration Rovers," said Dr. Steve Squyres, principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission at Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. "We're using the test rover now to learn how to do good field geology with a robot. When we get to real Mars rover operations in 2004, we'll be able to use everything we're learning now to maximize our science return."

"The test rover has received and executed daily commands via satellite communications between JPL and the remote desert field site. Each day, they have sent images and science data to JPL that reveal properties of the desert geology," said Dr. Eddie Tunstel, the rover's lead engineer at JPL.

The Mars Exploration Rovers will be launched in May and June 2003. Upon their arrival at Mars in January 2004, they will spend at least three months conducting surface operations, exploring Mars for evidence of past water interaction with the surface and looking for other clues to the planet's past.

The science team of more than 60 scientists from around the world will tell the rovers what to do and where to go from the mission control room at JPL. This month's test is one of several training operations that are planned before landing.

The rovers are currently being built at JPL and will be shipped to the Kennedy Space Center in Florida early next year to begin preparations for launch. Shortly before the launch, NASA will select the landing sites.

More information about the rover mission is available at http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/fact_sheets/mars03rovers.pdf or http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer.

A description of the Fido rover is available at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/mer/fido or http://fido.jpl.nasa.gov.

More information about the Mars Exploration Program is available at http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov.

The Mars Exploration Rover mission is managed by JPL for NASA's Office of Space Science, Washington, D.C. JPL is a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Rehearsal Readies Scientists For NASA's Next Mars Landing." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 20 August 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020820072129.htm>.
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. (2002, August 20). Rehearsal Readies Scientists For NASA's Next Mars Landing. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 30, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020820072129.htm
NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. "Rehearsal Readies Scientists For NASA's Next Mars Landing." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/08/020820072129.htm (accessed January 30, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Space & Time News

Friday, January 30, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Video Shows Stars If They Were as Close to Earth as Sun

Video Shows Stars If They Were as Close to Earth as Sun

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Russia&apos;s space agency created a video that shows what our sky would look like with different star if they were as close as our sun. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) walks us through the cool video. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

NASA Holds Memorial to Remember Astronauts

AP (Jan. 29, 2015) NASA is remembering 17 astronauts who were killed in the line of duty and dozens more who have died since the agency&apos;s beginning. A remembrance ceremony was held Thursday at NASA&apos;s Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama. (Jan. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Asteroid's Moon Spotted During Earth Flyby

Rumble (Jan. 27, 2015) Scientists working with NASA&apos;s Deep Space Network antenna at Goldstone, California discovered an unexpected moon while observing asteroid 2004 BL86 during its recent flyby past Earth. Credit to &apos;NASA JPL&apos;. Video provided by Rumble
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins