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Mini-rovers for Mars explorationsRovers are desirable for surface exploration because they allow sampling, and sample returns from several diverse locations on a planet's surface. Unfortunately, the rovers currently being examined for Mars exploration have several undesirable features. These rovers are quite massive (500 kg to one ton), have very complicated operations, and are very expensive. A possible alternative is described to using large rovers for exploring the surface of Mars. The idea of mini-rovers is proposed. Mini-rovers weigh less than 5 kg, are trivial to control from the ground, and can do a more thorough survey of the terrain (per kilogram of mass) than can be obtained by large rovers. By redesigning the Mars sample return mission to accommodate the idea of mini-rovers and small spacecraft, considerable mass and cost savings can be achieved.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Miller, David P.
(Jet Propulsion Lab., California Inst. of Tech. Pasadena, CA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
April 1, 1990
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Lewis Research Center, Vision-21: Space Travel for the Next Millennium
Subject Category
Mechanical Engineering
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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