NASA’s Mars Explorer has Earth Twin

In late July, NASA launched the Persistence Rover on Mars to hunt for signs of ancient life on the red planet. As the robotic astronomer floats into space on his way to Mars, its engagement is getting ready to reflect the mission of the rover right here on Earth.

The worldly twins of the Persians are on the rise to establish the ‘Mars Yard’ in this month, where it will simulate the mission that the Perseverance will engage at 44 million miles.

Its name? Optimism.

The almost identical twin of the Fortitude is a full-scale engineering version of the Mars Rover, with six wheels, cameras, and a computer system that allows it to drive autonomously around the simulated Martian landscape.

The down-to-earth robot counter is called Optimism, which stands for Operational Persistence Twin for the integration of instruments and equipment sent to Mars.

In a recent statement, mobility test bed engineer Anees Zarifian at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory said, “The Perseverance Dynamics team can’t wait to finally drive our Test Rover out.”

“It’s the test robot that comes closest to emulating actual mission operations. On Mars will experience perseverance – all together with wheels, eyes and brains – so it’s particularly fun to work with a rover It is going to happen.”

OPTIMISM passed its first driving test on 1 September and the team of engineers hoped to begin test-driving at Mars Yard from next week. Mars Yard is a simulated Martian landscape complete with red mud, rocks, and other obstacles that a perseverance rover can encounter when walking around the red planet.

In a way, the earthly twin of perseverance can be considered the “rogue” twin for Mars Rover.

The reason is that once they remained on Mars in February 2021, the rover’s team would not be able to physically work on the car-shaped robot. This means, something is wrong, any fix needs to be remote – and accurate. By creating a worldly model, the team can find and fix any hardware or software issues with Rover before this They begin transmitting commands to the Mars machine.

“The 2020 motto of the MARS 2020 persistence test bed team is’ no optimism allowed,” said Matt Stumbo, head for OPTIMISM Rover on the test bed team.

“So we named the test rover Optimism, which is to remind us of the work we have to do to test the system as a whole. Our job is to find problems, not just ASHA’s activities. That we work through issues with OPTIMISM, we gain confidence. Confidence and confidence in our ability to work on Mars. “

OPTIMISM passed its first driving test in a warehouse in Southern California, while its twin reached space via Mars.NASA / JPL

As it stands today, the OPTIMISM has the same mobility system and top driving speed (0.094 mph) as well as the same robotic “head,” remote sensing mast, as the Perseverance. But a second building phase at the start of the new year will see OPTIMISM acquire all the science equipment, cameras and computer brains of its Martian counterpart.

Like any pair of twins, there is some difference between the two. OPTIMISM is connected to a type of umbilical cord, a nuclear battery where it receives its power. CORD also connects OPIMISM with the ground team that will be sending commands to it all the way to Mars rather than sending commands through the network of antennas.

Along the way, Perseverance will be cohesive with its robot counterpart Curiosity, which has been hovering around the Red Planet since 2012, working shoulder to shoulder with OPTIMISM Curiosity’s own Earth twin, Maggie (Mars Automated Giant Gingigo for Integrated Engineering). Will do.

“The Curiosity Mission has learned lessons from Maggie that were impossible to learn any other way,” Stumbo said. “Now that we have OPTIMISM, it is well-equipped to learn the Perseverance mission to succeed on Mars.”

The two pairs will outrun each other’s antics. Hopefully, the Earth team will not go rogue.

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