NASA to extend Mars exploration with another robotic rover

Based on scientific success of Curiosity, another rover set to launch in 2020

By , Computerworld |  Science, NASA, robotics

Coming up on its ninth anniversary, NASA's rover Opportunity is still at work on Mars. Opportunity, along with its robotic twin Spirit, were both launched in 2003 on a three-month mission. Both rovers far exceeded expectations with Spirit continuing work until 2010 and Opportunity still investigating the surface of Mars.

NASA has repeatedly said that robots are critical to the exploration of Mars and that they'll even be used to help build a human outpost there someday.

In 2010, NASA announced that it was building a six-legged robot that can walk or roll on wheels and ultimately help set up a habitat on Mars for astronauts.

The robot, which went into development in 2005, is designed to move easily across the various types of terrain on the moon, on Mars or even on an asteroid.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

See more by Sharon Gaudin on Computerworld.com.

Read more about emerging technologies in Computerworld's Emerging Technologies Topic Center.


Originally published on Computerworld |  Click here to read the original story.
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