NASA’s RASSOR Rover to Dig and Mine on Mars
Before Elon Musk's SpaceX plan of colonizing the Red Planet and sending humans there, the space agency is working on a concept rover which is named RASSOR (Regolith Advanced Surface Systems Operations Robot) to be sent to Mars to dig, mine and study the soil of the planet.
"It is a teleoperated mobile robot with a unique space regolith excavation capability. Its design incorporates net-zero reaction force, allowing it to load, haul, and dump space regolith under extremely low gravity conditions with high reliability." said NASA on their website.
RASSOR is equipped with drums instead of wheels. These drums are digging buckets that rotate in opposite directions. This allows the rover to dig up the surface soil and create pull for mobility.
What will RASSOR do on Mars?
This rover aims to help forthcoming missions to other planets overcome weight discretion by mining the surface of the planet for resources like water, oxygen, and rocket fuel components. This will help manned missions lessen the burdens when man will be on the other planet already. Sending fuels on the red planet would be a problem incase, so, they came up with the idea of making a rover be sent first there and analyze the capability of the soil in the planet to sustain life and provide necessary components to work in there.
RASSOR To Help Curiosity
There is no initial announcement yet from the agency if when RASSOR will be ready for the real action. RASSOR is more sophisticated and sturdier than its predecessor Curiosity. It is also expected that it can perform five times faster than the present rover plus it can also handle 16-hours in working and carrying 40 pounds of materials on its trip.
These technology is currently being developed at the Kennedy Space Center with high hopes of carrying heavy hardware for the future space missions.
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