NASA’s New Mars Rover Unveiled At Kennedy Space Center

Written by Hira Bashir

NASA has recently unveiled its futuristic Mars rover concept vehicle at Kennedy Space Center, and it looks something out of this world.

The Mars rover prototype is a part of NASA’s “Summer of Mars” program which is inviting veteran astronauts like Scott Kelly to share their experiences with next generation of space explorers. The program will also include a survey of NASA’s studies of the Red Planet.

Visitors can get up close to new robotic vehicle through the mid of July before it goes on a tour to east coast.

“It’s an all-encompassing effort to review the history of our efforts to explore Mars and look ahead to what is being planned. We hope this will encourage young people to want to learn more about being a part of the effort to go to Mars.” Rebecca Shireman, assistant manager of public relations for the Kennedy visitor complex said in a statement.

The new rover is about 14 feet wide, 11 feet tall and 28 feet long with its onboard laboratory. It has massive wheels specifically designed to traverse Martian rocks, craters, dunes and uneven terrain.

The rover is designed by Parker brothers, Shanon and Marc. They have previously designed futuristic motorcycles in the movie “Tron.” This is probably the reason why the rover has Hollywood sci-fi movie touch.

“There is almost nothing on this vehicle that was not built in our shop. I mean, down to every little bracket and tab, nothing was ordered out of a catalog. We built the body, the chassis, the suspension, the wheels, the frame, the interior, the seats, the glass — everything on this vehicle had to be built completely from scratch.” Marc said of new Mars rover design.

It took the brothers just five months to construct the new rover. It will work as both a vehicle and laboratory. However, it does not necessarily mean that the actual rover will look exactly the same.

“It might not look exactly like that, but the concept and all the features are going to be on the Martian vehicle that they will drive.” Astronaut John McBride told WESH.com.

NASA’s next generation robotic rover will land on the Red Planet in 2020. The rover will not only search for signs of past microbial life on the planet but also collect core samples from Mars and return them to Earth.

Read more at i4u News

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