Rappelling NASA rover could split in two to explore Mars’ deep craters

NASA JPL took the DuAxel out for a test run in the Mojave Desert.


NASA/JPL-Caltech/J.D. Gammell

NASA’s car-size Mars rovers are awesome, versatile machines capable of traversing rugged terrain. But they’re not made to descend down the sides of craters. For that, NASA would need something like its DuAxel prototype rover, a wild concept that is two rovers in one.

When all together, DuAxel is a four-wheeled rover. The rear can anchor itself to the ground while the front goes free on two wheels. A tether holds the pieces together while the front section rappels down a steep slope. This could work well for exploring currently inaccessible crater walls on Mars.

NASA put a DuAxel prototype through its paces in the Mojave Desert in California. “DuAxel performed extremely well in the field, successfully demonstrating its

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ESA’s force-feedback rover controlled from a nation away

ESA’s force-feedback rover controlled from a nation away
A controller in Germany operated ESA’s gripper-equipped Interact rover around a simulated moonscape at the Agency’s technical heart in the Netherlands, to practice retrieving geological samples. Credit: ESA– SJM Photography

A controller in Germany operated ESA’s gripper-equipped Interact rover around a simulated moonscape at the Agency’s technical heart in the Netherlands, to practice retrieving geological samples. At the same time a smaller Germany-based rover interacted with ESA’s rover as if together at the same site—in a dress rehearsal for a robotic test campaign to the Moon-like volcanic slopes of Mount Etna, scheduled for next year.


The scenario behind this week’s testing is that in the future, astronauts aboard the Lunar Gateway in space will be able to operate rovers on the surface of the Moon, using force-feedback controls—like a high-end gaming joystick that pushes back on its user—to experience a realistic sense of touch comparable to actually being there.

The

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Jaguar Land Rover Reveals Headphone-Style Noise Cancelling Tech To Cut Driver Fatigue

Driver fatigue brought on by the monotonous drone of road roar and wind noise could soon be a thing of the past, as Jaguar Land Rover reveals new noise-cancelling technology.

Similar to how headphones with ANC (active noise cancelling) work, the new system uses sensors on each wheel to monitor vibrations. These are then used to produce a sound wave through the car’s audio system that cancels out the unwanted noise, particularly low-frequency sounds up to 300Hz.

The system debuts on the new Jaguar F-Pace, new Jaguar XE, and Range Rover Velar, but is likely to soon roll-out across the rest of the JLR range.

JLR explains how the system “calculates the opposite phase sound wave needed to remove the noise heard by the

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Perseverance Rover will peer beneath Mars’ surface

Perseverance Rover Will Peer Beneath Mars' Surface
Perseverance’s Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) uses radar waves to probe the ground, revealing the unexplored world that lies beneath the Martian surface. The first ground-penetrating radar set on the surface of Mars, RIMFAX can provide a highly detailed view of subsurface structures down to at least 30 feet (10 meters) underground. In doing so, the instrument will reveal hidden layers of geology and help find clues to past environments on Mars, especially those with conditions necessary for supporting life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/FFI

After touching down on the Red Planet Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will scour Jezero Crater to help us understand its geologic history and search for signs of past microbial life. But the six-wheeled robot won’t be looking just at the surface of Mars: The rover will peer deep below it with a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX.


Unlike similar instruments aboard Mars orbiters,

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