How to manage a robot on Mars


Portraits of NASA's curiosity loop aircraft on June 7, 2018

About 78 million km (126 million kilometers) of the Earth, only a huge and gray red planet, the robot wakes up after a small 4×4 sized strip. Just as it has been six years old, he looks forward to his instructions.


Approximately 9:30 Mars Time arrives from California, where 15 minutes ago.

"Drive 10 meters ahead, reach 45 degrees, turn on your autonomous abilities and drive."

Curiosity starts with orders, slowly moving positions, at an average speed of 35 to 110 meters per hour.

Its batteries and other configurations limit the daily transportation of about 100 meters. The most curiosity on Mars is about 220 meters.

After arriving, his 17 cameras take pictures of his surroundings.

Its laser zaps rocks. Other tools on board drilling into a particularly interesting rock are exploring small samples.

At about 5:00 am, Martin's time will wait for three of NASA's satellites to move the planet into orbit.

Curiosity sends several hundred megabytes of scientific data to the great entrepreneurs of the earth.

Miniature laboratory

At the first floor of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbard, Maryland, 34 scientists started at 1 o'clock every night.

NASA scientist Charles Malespin poses after reproduction of SAM instrument aboard rover curiosity on Mars

Scientists are looking for any reference to life on Mars.

The curiosity within the range of "marketing marvels", says Charles Malsepin, chief investigator of the Mars sample analysis department, the chemist laboratory of microwave ovens.

"This is the most challenging instrument sent to NASA's other planet," says Malzpin, who has been working on the project's professional activities since 2006.

SAM analyzes the soils of ground soils in the oven, which reaches 1,800 Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees).

Hot rocks are released by gas, which is analyzed and analyzed by instruments requiring sample fingerprint.

In Godard, French postdoctoral researcher Maeva Millan, acknowledges this chemical fingerprint with known molecules.

When they look like this, say, "Ah, this is a molecule."

This NASA image shows a 2-inch-deep hole rover curiosity drilled Martian surface extract rock samples of May 2018

Thanks to SAM that the researchers know that there are complex organic molecules on Mars.

And SAM has helped scientists that the Martian surface is geologically spoken – much younger than previously thought.

"If you plan to go with Mars, you do not want to be there for the staff you can use to resource," said Malespin.

"If you want me to leave the ground and the warmth and the released water, bring you a big oven and you want all the water."

The same applies to various materials that can be used to generate rocket fuel, which will enable future service stations for red planet robots.

There is no joystick

On the other side of the United States, NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, about two dozen men and women make up a team that manages curiosity.

French post-doctorate researcher Maeva Millan at NASA's Goddard Space Center in Greenbelt, Maryland

"My favorite part of the day is when I get to sit down and start to see the image of Mars and you will know when the robot is," says Frank Hartmann,

"And my sense is that sometimes I am the first man on earth looking for some of these pictures."

The main task of Mars drivers is to order commands to protect the next sun or "day" on Mars, which lasts 24 hours and almost 40 minutes. There is no joystick and there is no real time relationship with a robotic car.

There is a delay when drivers know something wrong, whether this possibility is buried with a martini dust storm, or a curiosity wheel made by a sharp rock.

Or curiosity drill machine, which took place in the beginning of the current year and took several months.

"We did not have before these places," Hartman said.

"So we should always know the fact that we know a little bit about what we are seeing."

In December 2013, the lake deposits of ancient lake were visited

Over the years, scientists have come to robots. Hartman and his colleagues felt a feeling of grief when the ship arrived quietly after a 14-year-old weapon.

Opportunity "in honor of honorable," said Hartman.

Curiosity, which fell in 2012, is 12 kilometers away (19.75 km). He has to wait another year before his goal, Mount Sharp.

After a few months, he will lose a monster monopoly. Two robots – one American and one European – 2020 on the planet land.


Learn further:
Drill Success: Curiosity collects Mars cliffs