Nasa recently unveiled a futuristic Mars rover concept vehicle, which could one day provide transport for manned missions to the Red Planet. Although, this is a concept vehicle, meaning this design won’t even land on Mars.
Nasa wants to have humans on Mars in the next few decades. Through this concept vehicle, the challenge seems easy. It just looks like it just rolled out of a sci-fi movie.
This new visionary Mars rover was originally designed by US-based Parker Brothers Concepts according to specifications provided by NASA. In reality, it is made from carbon fiber and aluminum. The most fascinating thing is that the truck is both electric and solar-powered and is 28 feet (8.5m) long and 13 feet (4m) wide. Its six wheels are 50 inches (1.3m) tall and 30 inches (75cm) wide and are designed with air ducts to let the red sands of Mars pass through.
The rover uses a bank of solar panels to provide power to its 50-inch wheels. It could theoretically reach speeds as high as 70 mph on the road. But on Mars, its speed will be 15 mph or less. Still, this is a huge vehicle that would take up a ton of cargo space on a Mars mission, even if the weight was negligible.
This isn’t just a rover, though. It is designed to split into parts. Its front end is designed for scouting and equipped with a radio and navigation provided by GPS. On the other hand, the back section serves as a laboratory that can disconnect entirely for autonomous research.
Designer Marc Parker said, “What we actually came up with was a dual-purpose vehicle. It actually separates in the middle. The rear section is a full lab, the front area is a cockpit for going out and doing scouting. The lab section can actually disconnect and be left on its own to do autonomous research.”
“That way the scout vehicle can go out to do its thing without the fuel consumption and extra weight, then come back later.”
As Nasa aim is to plant human colonies on the Red Planet by the 2030s. Thus, they are looking forward to transportation needs.
Nasa spokesman said, “While this exact rover is not expected to operate on Mars, one or more of its elements could make its way into a rover astronauts will drive on the Red Planet.”