Thursday, July 24, 2014

Landing Rovers

Interesting news from the European Space Agency this week. Some time ago they launched the Tiger Initiative, a program designed to bring together leading minds from different fields in order to facilitate space exploration. The aim is to get a new, fresh, perspective on what to do going forward.
The latest development is a quadcopter drone. This drone would carry rovers from an orbiting planetary spaceship to the surface, and do it safely. Plus they can land them exactly where the ESA wants them to land.

The real problem is that these have to be autonomous vehicles. The time lag between Earth and any planet is large and remote operators would loose control. So the quadcopter must be able to navigate the atmosphere and make on the spot adjustments during the landing. This robot has to be able to react to situations using its own judgement.

Very interesting.

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