Spacecraft tested for missions on the Moon and Mars

Spacecraft tested for missions on the Moon and Mars

NASA is testing Space ship A planet that can be launched into space to carry out missions on the moon and Mars in Milton Keynes, west London.

The purpose of the Fetch Rover (SFR) model, known as Anon, was to collect samples from tubes left on a surface red planet by NASA’s rover, as part of the space agency’s Mars Sample Return mission.

Read also: New discovery on the red planet

But, earlier this year, NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the rover would not be necessary for this work.

This is because Perseverance – which landed on the Red Planet in February 2021, is able to pick up and transport its samples on its own.

However, Airbus engineers who have been working on the SFR since 2018 still put the machine in its stride should it be needed for another task.

“Although the mission has faded, the core technology is still ready and able to take off and this is the kind of final step in proving it works,” said Ben Dubke, project manager at Airbus.

The quarries provide a unique and dynamic terrain that is used to prepare rovers for the Martian landscape.

The site is used in Milton Keynes because a similar landscape cannot be replicated within the Mars Yard Test Facility in Stevenage.

SFR’s drive around the quarry marks the first time all of its systems have been tested simultaneously.

Airbus is looking to ensure it maintains its surface mobility for the UK space sector, particularly as NASA’s Artemis lunar mission approaches.

Artemis is the lunar exploration program to send people, including the first woman and first person of color, to the moon by 2025, to which the United Kingdom is contributing.

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