October 06, 2022
At a mine close to London, European aerospace company Airbus recently tested the rover's capabilities.
UK's Milton Keynes - Over the past three weeks, the European aerospace giant Airbus has been testing its Mars sample Fetch rover in a mine outside of London using terrain that is similar to that of Mars.
Hopefully the technology will be given another shot because it is no longer a ticket to Mars. on a later lunar mission.
Originally, the rover was supposed to gather samples that NASA's Perseverance Mars rover had stored for return to Earth in the early 2030s.
However, in July of this year, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) decided against the Fetch rover proposal in favor of a pair of smaller NASA helicopters.
The decision dealt Airbus and the entire European space sector a second setback this year relating to the Mars rover.
That comes after the ExoMars Rosalind Franklin rover's September launch was postponed due to Russia's involvement in the project.
The Fetch rover, which can travel twice as quickly, has special wheels that were modeled after Moon rovers from the Apollo era, claim Airbus officials.
The rover can more easily climb over obstacles thanks to the protective tyres on the wheels that are fitted. These tyres are composed of metal mesh and adhere to the surface.
According to Hamilton, the employment of inflexible, space-qualified computers, which lag behind the state-of-the-art, is the biggest obstacle to making the technology function.
The rover doesn't move like an autonomous vehicle; instead, it makes two-meter stops to assess the terrain before moving on to the next step of its mission.