Earlier this week NASA revealed more details about the next Mars Rover that it is currently developing and testing, with hopes of launching sometime during 2020.
NASA plans for the rover to land on the Red Planet at some point in February 2021.
They revealed their plans in the image above, which seems to show a similar six-wheeled design as the current rover (Curiosity).
NASA explains :
The Mars 2020 rover will use the same sky crane landing system as Curiosity, but will have the ability to land in more challenging terrain with two enhancements, making more rugged sites eligible as safe landing candidates.
Once a mission receives preliminary approval, it must go through four rigorous technical and programmatic reviews – known as Key Decision Points (KDP) – to proceed through the phases of development prior to launch. Phase A involves concept and requirements definition, Phase B is preliminary design and technology development, Phase C is final design and fabrication, and Phase D is system assembly, testing and launch. Mars 2020 has just passed its KDP-C milestone.
However, it’s not just about what it looks like, the new rover will have a set of new instruments and enhancements to explore Mars unlike Curiosity or any of the rovers before it.
Some of these instruments will allow the new rover to investigate the usability and availability of the resources on Mars, including testing of materials like oxygen.
Geoffrey Yoder, acting associate administrator of NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington added:
The Mars 2020 rover is the first step in a potential multi-mission campaign to return carefully selected and sealed samples of Martian rocks and soil to Earth. This mission marks a significant milestone in NASA’s Journey to Mars — to determine whether life has ever existed on Mars, and to advance our goal of sending humans to the Red Planet.
You can read more about the news at the source link below.