ESA’s test rover has been fitted with scientific instruments and made its first tracks in the sands of Chile’s Atacama Desert. Meanwhile, team members have explored the area to select a suitable site for testing, flying a drone to produce an aerial map.
This week’s Sample Acquisition Field Experiment with a Rover, or SAFER, field trial is gaining experience in remotely operating a Mars rover prototype equipped with scientific instruments.
ESA has assembled an international industrial team for the trial, which takes place in the Mars-like Atacama, one of the driest places on Earth.
“During the past few days we have been busy preparing for the actual trial,” explains Michel van Winnendael, overseeing the testing for ESA. “A number of sites have been visited, based on guidance provided by Chilean geologist Prof. Guillermo Chong.
“Our team geologist Derek Pullan of the University of Leicester has been exploring the area looking for similar sites to the kind of martian locatio...Read More