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Thursday, May 15, 2003



NASA Exploring Tumbleweeds as Rover Designs

Tumbleweed.
Tumbleweed.
Credit: Jazarts.com
NASA is working with students in the North Carolina State University to produce a Martian rover based on tumbleweeds found in deserts. Current rovers are limited to wheel or tank-like designs that offer limited maneuverability on the oftentimes harsh terrain of Mars. The team's prototype skips that completely, using the wind to blow around Mars, taking samples and recording information.

Field testing of a working prototype was done. Further research will be needed, but the next rover you see on Mars may be a very unconventional one.

(More info: Spaceflight Now, Mars Tumbleweed)


- posted by Brian @ 18:16 EST